Angry barbs were exchanged at the Southside Leagues Club on Thursday, when Farrer's candidates came to pitch their policies in the leadup to the federal election.
Water quickly dominated the candidates forum, which turned into a revolt against the major parties and their handling of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
All the independent and minor party candidates opposed the plan and described what they'd do to it if they got into power: either pause it, scrap it, withdraw from it, or subject it to a royal commission.
Only Labor candidate Kieran Drabsch and Liberal incumbent Sussan Ley stood by the MDBP, albeit with some changes.
Mr Drabsch admitted the basin plan was "a tough challenge" for irrigation communities, but he said it was ultimately here to stay.
He said the future lay in better technology, pointing to Labor's plans for a Hydro Atmospheric capture trial, a Sustainable Water Research Centre, and a Water Renewable Energy Network.
Ms Ley admitted the plan was "flawed", but said she had been pushing for positive changes throughout her term in office.
She pointed to her policies, which included a 1500 gigalitre buyback cap, a $25 million study into "Bradfield Scheme mark two", and looser regulations around taking water from environmental holdings.
She said a royal commission would result in worse outcomes and more water buybacks, and that an alternative plan that pleased all parties was not forthcoming.
"If we say 'pause, stop, royal commission,' then what?" she said.
Her question was echoed by an irrigator in the audience, who wanted reassurances that an exit to the plan wouldn't result in worse outcomes for farmers.
Independent candidate Kevin Mack said things "can't get any worse", saying that the status quo would destroy irrigation communities.
The other minor party candidates also called for some form of pause, scrap, or royal commission, as well as changes to water trading regulations, recombining land/water assets, and tightening foreign ownership laws.
Liberal Democrat Mark Ellis said he would temporarily withdraw from the MDBP, but he opposed a royal commission on the grounds it was a meaningless kangaroo court.
"A royal commission is just $100 million for lawyers," Mr Ellis said.
"People never set up a royal commission unless they know what the outcome is going to be."
Sustainable Australia's Ross Hamilton said irrigation communities were "up a certain creek without a certain implement", and advocated for better metering laws, a federal ICAC, and better population management.
United Australia Mike Rose demanded an end to the MDBP, adding that his party was the only one entirely self-funded and therefore the only truly independent party.
Independent candidate Brian Mills stormed out of the meeting in a huff, angry that he was only allowed one-minute responses to audience questions.
Greens candidate Dean Moss said he wanted stronger action on climate change, a federal EPA, and a royal commission to investigate corruption in the MDBP.
Some in the audience were frustrated with the relentless focus on water; Greg Adamson complained the candidates barely touched on other issues such as health and education.
"Our services are important, but they barely got a mention," Mr Adamson said.
Griffith City Council mayor John Dal Broi has been a vocal pundit on water, but even he was "disappointed" by the night's proceedings.
"Whilst water is very critical to our area, there are many other issues that were not discussed," he said.
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