Prime Minister Scott Morrison has accused his Labor rival Bill Shorten of "throwing mud" by dredging up questions over $80 million worth of water purchases under the Murray-Darling Basin plan.
Mr Shorten on the election campaign trail in Melbourne said questions have been raised over the probity of the nation's most expensive water purchase.
"Our river system is stuffed and it is stuffed because this is a government who hasn't had a plan to look after the whole of the river basin," Mr Shorten told reporters on Saturday.
"It has played favourites. It has pursued particular commercial agenda and as a result, Australia's mighty Murray-Darling is on the critical list."
But Mr Morrison said there has already been a Senate inquiry into the matter and the government had provided documents regarding those transactions.
"So, that strikes me there is a high level of transparency," Mr Morrison told reporters in Sydney.
He said this is what the Labor leader does when he gets desperate and can't answer questions about his own policies.
"He starts throwing mud around. This is what Bill Shorten does."
Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young is writing to the Auditor General requesting an urgent audit into all purchases signed off by former minister Barnaby Joyce.
"The Auditor has a responsibility to investigate how $80 million of taxpayers money was paid for water that doesn't exist," the senator tweeted on Saturday.
"We need a Royal Commission. #watergate".
A Liberal campaign spokesman for the 2019 election, Senator Simon Birmingham, said a royal commission is not necessary.
He said a 2020 review is already legislated under the the Murray-Darlling Basin plan.
"So that review will take place next year as is already required," Senator Birmingham told ABC television.
On the size of the $80 million purchase in question, Senator Birmingham explained as the drought hit, there has been increasing volumes of water purchased and "unsurprisingly" prices have gone up.
"It is not a surprise in the last couple of years you would be paying more for water licences in a condition where the market has tightened and the availability of water is less," he said.
Australian Associated Press