NATIONALS Riverina MP Michael McCormack says he's prepared to cross the floor and vote against the Murray-Darling Basin Plan if it takes away 2750 gigalitres from primary production for environmental purposes.
Rural communities and farming stakeholder groups have demanded a final Basin Plan that balances economic and social outcomes in equal consideration with environmental concerns.
Communities like Griffith in Mr McCormack's electorate fear unjustifiably large volumes of water may be stripped from primary production, but only achieve marginal or superficial environmental gains.
They warn that loss of water would cause devastating impacts for secondary community businesses reliant on that income for survival.
The Griffith community expressed that fear and angst like no other in the Basin, by fronting up with the largest attendances at two highly emotional public meetings during the two rounds of public consultation in the planning process, over the past two years.
With the basin planning process now at the pointy end of negotiations - and Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Water Minister Tony Burke declaring with confidence it will pass through parliament this year - tensions have again escalated.
Ms Gillard and Mr Burke visited the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray mouth region in South Australia last week to announce the federal government would provide $1.77 billion over ten years, from 2014, to relax key operating constraints and allow an additional 450GL of environmental water.
They said the additional 450GL would be obtained through various projects to ensure there is "no social and economic downside for communities".
The 450GL is in addition to the 2750GL already proposed in the plan.
Mr McCormack said last week's announcement by Ms Gillard was "a political stunt rather than a political statement", and unfair.
"People in Griffith were livid last Friday and that went from the Mayor all the way through the community," he said.
Mr McCormack said secondary businesses like bakeries, motels, hairdressers and newsagents were all in the plan's firing line, as they relied on farmers to grow produce with the water and sell that product then spend that money in town.
Mr McCormack said the government was "throwing out policies they know they'll never have to deliver".
"I certainly won't be approving or voting in favour of 2750GL and if it means I'll have to sit on the other side of the chamber on my own then I will," he said.
"I won't be voting in favour of 2750GL coming out of the (Murray-Darling Basin) system, given the amount of water that's already been bought out of the system.
"I won't be abstaining - I'll be voting against it."