NSW requests QLD let more water flow down the Darling River

MEDIA RELEASE – 6 May 2015

The Greens NSW water spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham used his first question in the new parliament, to ask a question of new Lands and Water Minister, Niall Blair about whether rainfall in Queensland was making its way into NSW, or whether it was being sucked up by irrigators such as Cubbie Dam?

“The Greens will continue to use parliament to advocate for the residents of Broken Hill and Menindee and to push for policies that will revive the Darling River,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“I was pleased to hear that the new minister has actually written to the Queensland Government to request that they set an embargo on water being taken out of the rivers that feed the Darling River.

“While infrastructure works around the Menindee Lakes are necessary, the ultimate solution to Broken Hill’s water issue is to revive the Darling River to a healthy state, and that’s what the Greens will be fighting for,” he said.

Jeremy Buckingham MLC: My question is to the Honourable Niall Blair, the Minister for Lands and Water

Minister, how much of rainfall in Central and Southern Queensland over the past three to four months has flowed through to the Darling River system?  Has irrigation storage in Queensland, particularly at Cubbie Station, had a negative impact on the flow of water into NSW?  And what does this mean for those living on the Darling River system?

Minister Blair: [extract] “I’ve written to my Queensland counterpart to express the view that although it’s a balancing act… we must look at the critical human consumption needs right across the basin, right across states, and that’s why we had to put the embargo back on in NSW.  I’ve written to my Queensland counterpart to ask whether they would consider, in future events, doing the same… and I hope that they will favourably look upon that request in the future.”

Video of the Parliamentary Question Time

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916


  • Graeme Thornton

    Good on you Jeremy. A parlous situation the MDBA has put the Menindee Lakes and the Lower Darling in for the excessive drawdown. Some MDBA managers need to be held to account instead of passing the buck to NSW Water after the event of their call.


  • Being an irrigator in queensland I have looked at extraction figures for nsw and queensland as percentages of inflow versus extractions and the problem in nsw lies in the fact it extracts about 90 percent of inflow compared with about 20 percent in qld. I think you should look at your own issues before asking someone else to help out .


    • Well BIll Knights,
      Happens that NSW supplies VIctoria and South Australia through storage at Menindee Lakes.
      Stop thinking of yourself and share.


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