Cascading reports ring alarm over failing Murray Darling Basin Plan
MEDIA RELEASE – 30 November 2017
Four separate reports in the last few days have all rung the alarm bell over the progress of the Murray Darling Basin Plan, underlining the need for a federal Royal Commission into the administration of the Murray Darling Basin.
Since last Saturday the following reports have released:
- Murray Darling Basin Authority Water compliance review
- Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists Review of water reform in the Murray Darling Basin
- Ken Matthew’s Final Report into water management and compliance in NSW;
- Australian National Audit Office review of New South Wales’ Protection and use of Environmental Water in the Murray-Darling Basin.
NSW Greens water spokesman Jeremy Buckingham said:
“We have had cascading reports concluding the Murray Darling Basin Plan is failing and billions of taxpayer’s dollars are being wasted on projects that are not restoring our rivers and wetlands.
“These report indicate that the Basin Plan is on the brink of failure because of recalcitrant states, a tame Murray Darling Basin Authority, a dysfunctional water market that is being rorted, a lack of compliance, and National Party water ministers acting to destroy it.
“Water is a very complex issue where government decisions can result in windfall profits, so it is ripe for corruption and fraud. Revelations over the last few months are ringing the alarm bells that compliance is rotten and the Murray Darling Basin Plan is failing.
“The Murray Darling Basin Authority is captive and tame, when it should be a fierce proponent for restoring healthy rivers and taking on parochial interests such as state governments and the irrigation industry.
“Everywhere we look, the National Party, in cahoots with big irrigators and tame bureaucrats, are conniving and maneuvering to keep irrigators canals full, and stop water being returned to our rivers and wetlands.”
“The states are cooking up schemes and projects that reduce the amount of water being returned the rivers, or putting in place regulatory barriers to prevent proper environmental flows. It looks like they are actively working to retard the progress of the Basin Plan.
“The Greens are calling for a federal Royal Commission into the administration of the Murray Darling Basin.”