Sussan Ley has hit back at claims she was "taking a stroll in the Botanic Gardens" instead of attending the Tocumwal water rally, saying she is continuing to fight for water.
The member for Farrer and environment minister was an apology at the event, which was attended by more than 3000 fed up farmers, and took to her official Facebook page to reiterate her commitment to those irrigators relying on water allocations.
"My office gave my apologies to the organisers of Thursday's rally, explaining that I had several long-standing commitments which prevented me from attending," she said.
"These included an undertaking I made months ago to speak at the Rangelands Conference at the ANU and to officially open discussions and participate in a Kangaroo Symposium on the same day."
Ms Ley also replied to some comments from her personal account asking if people wanted to organise a time to speak to her face-to-face.
"I find group and one on one conversations achieve more than shouting matches on Facebook," she said.
In a statement to The Area News Ms Ley said she "feels the frustration".
"The beginning of spring has been an anxious but busy period for many across the irrigated farming areas of the Farrer electorate and I sincerely thank those whom I met with over the last fortnight," she said.
"The conditions are extremely tough right across NSW and I am committed to working with states, authorities and agencies to do what I can to help.
"Every drop of water in the basin is owned somewhere, and for our allocation to go up someone else's has to go down."
Ms Ley said she is unable to meet with members of a class action against the Murray Darling Basin Authority due to being "a member of the executive of a government administering the 2007 Water Act".
"I regret that I am unable to meet with the proponents of the lawsuit which is being brought against the MDBA until after that action has concluded," she said.
But Ms Ley said she has farm visits planned in the next month.
"I will be out and about in between the next month of parliamentary sittings," she said.
"I have a range of farm visits planned and invite you to register your interest with my office if you would like to be part of these.
"I feel your frustration as another knife edge season approaches and I do want to assure you, as this session of parliament gets underway, I will once again be advocating for our water issues, with colleagues and federal agencies, to both deliver water and deliver a balanced plan."