Farmers from the Murray Darling Basin have marched to the front doors of Parliament House calling for the Murray Darling Basin Plan to be paused and irrigators to have access to more water.
Thousands of people from regional communities, including a convoy of trucks doing laps of Federation Mall, said the major parties had abandoned family farmers.
Carly Marriott from Barooga on the New South Wales side of the Murray River, said she had taken time away from her farm because politicians aren't listening.
"The Murray is running full because we have zero allocation, which for those who don't understand irrigation, that is like setting up a coffee shop and not having any beans," Ms Marriott said.
"What do you want us to do?"
Ms Marriott accused the government of incompetence in managing the Murray Darling system. The price of water had been distorted, she said, to the point where a megalitre was being sold for twice as much as farmers could afford to pay and still make a return on their crops.
"What I'm angry about is that these guys have made the rules, they've made it impossible for us to grow food or survive."
Hayden White, a farmer of 14 years in Tocumwal, also on the New South Wales side of the Murray River, said farmers were protesting because if they didn't, they would soon have to sell and leave their farms.
"We're hurting down there. The communities are hurting, the farmers are hurting - everyone that feeds off the system is," he said.
Mr White said the mismanagement of the Murray Darling Basin Plan was causing the issues farmers like him were experiencing.
"We're watching the river run absolutely full bore, bank to bank running down to South Australia and we're not allowed to touch a drop of it. Yet we've paid for our water, we pay every year. I think that's something a lot of people don't understand, we pay for the right to use that water and then we're told we're not allowed to use any."
Both Mr White and Ms Marriott said if the Murray Darling Basin Plan continued in its current form, few family farmers would still be on their land when it was scheduled to finish in 2024.
Mr White said the plan needed to be paused and reviewed, and the government needed to work with farmers on a replacement that balanced the needs of the environment as well as farmers.
"You won't find a farmer here that doesn't say yes we need environmental water. We're all keen to look after the environment but there's a balance that's not being struck."
One Nation Senators Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts met the protesters on Monday, many of whom spoke against the major parties.
A Victorian Liberal Democrat MP Tim Quilty and a NSW Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party MP Helen Dalton addressed the crowd at the rally.
At the same time as the rally, a man was thrown out of the Senate's public gallery for hurling abuse at Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie.
The man yelled "F***ing useless!" at Senator McKenzie during question time on Monday amid calls from angry farmers to ditch the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. He was swiftly escorted from the chamber.
A group of about 50 people cheered and applauded after One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts asked Senator McKenzie whether she would resign over her "failure" to help agriculture.
"No, Senator Roberts, I won't be resigning," she replied.
- With AAP
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