Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon has thrown his support behind plans to dose carp up with herpes but warned it will take decades to see results.
Mr Fitzgibbon said the federal government’s plans to control the species could not be rolled out across the country until further research and trials were conducted.
In the meantime carp numbers would continue to increase in rivers across the Hunter, he said.
The national carp control plan is expected to be finished in 2018 and confirm whether releasing a waterborne herpes virus would eradicate carp and keep other species safe.
It will also look at what can be done with the dead carp to maintain oxygen levels in the targeted waterways.
Mr Fitzgibbon said the $15 million invested in the plan was only the beginning and a lot more money would be needed to roll-out the program.
He said the science behind the concept had to be proven before the government could guarantee the plan was feasible.
He criticised Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce’s comment that the government would rid the nation’s rivers of carp.
“We don’t need Barnaby Joyce embellishing it … You’d think the carp in the Hunter River would be cleared tomorrow,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“It will be at least two decades before we see an improvement … he is pushing it for his own political gain.
“We now know that the $15 million he announced will be used to determine if the virus is practical, feasible and cost-effective to actually control the carp population not to get rid of the carp completely.”
Mr Joyce said in senate estimates last month that the government would fix the escalating carp population and the $15 million had been “put towards the eradication of carp”.
He said there would be 500,000 to two million tonnes of dead carp after the government had unleashed the virus. He said the dead fish would have to be converted into a useful material.
“We know that it is incredibly important,” Mr Joyce said.
“We want the Hunter to be a very healthy river.”