We need a Royal Commission into the management of the Murray Darling Basin now

BREAKING: Four Corners, with the help of Australia Institute research, has revealed that Australian taxpayers have given tens of million to a major agribusiness to expand cotton and nut cropping in the Murray-Darling Basin under the guise of an environmental scheme aimed at water recovery.

The water efficiency program was supposed to reduce the amount of water used for irrigation, and improve the state of the Basin’s rivers, but has achieved the opposite.  

In fact, our research has shown a long history of suboptimal and suspect decisions, and downright dubious policymaking. Big business is consistently winning in the Murray-Darling, at the expense of smaller farmers, communities and the environment.

Our report I’ll Have What They’re Having exposed separate multi-million dollar deals with the same business, Webster Ltd, while our reports on dodgy major water purchases throughout the basin led to the #Watergate scandal revelations. The Australia Institute does not suggest any illegality by Webster Ltd.

Taxpayers are paying billions to help the Murray Darling, but there is little transparency around how taxpayer money is spent. Corporations make huge profits on deals with Government, yet communities have no drinking water, the Darling River is dry, and huge amounts of water have been wasted in the Murray.

Add your name to the call to stop the mismanagement and maladministration of the Murray Darling Basin Plan. We need a Royal Commission now.

To our Political Leaders


The systemic mismanagement and maladministration of the Murray Darling Basin Plan needs to stop. Australia’s water resources need to be managed in the public interest, not for the benefit of corporations and lobbyists.


We need a Royal Commission into the management of our greatest rivers.

13,747 signatures

Will you sign?

  • jane woods
    signed 2019-07-23 21:00:10 +1000
  • Sally Schmidt
    signed 2019-07-23 18:27:52 +1000
    Sally Schmidt
  • Steven Fisher
    signed 2019-07-23 18:21:12 +1000
  • Helen Esmond
    signed 2019-07-23 14:14:18 +1000
  • christopher Wright
    signed 2019-07-23 11:54:18 +1000
    this is a critical need, in the face of such Government ineptitude and corporate greed.
  • Len Mangan
    signed 2019-07-23 11:46:42 +1000
  • Goff Fagan
    signed 2019-07-23 10:29:08 +1000
  • Howard McCallum
    signed 2019-07-23 06:54:55 +1000
    Water is too precious to be a tradable commodity which ends up in the hands of the wealthy for their profit, instead of being managed for the use and benefit of all who depend on water for living and for their livelihood. A Royal Commission is necessary to sort out the mess and restore the rivers’ management to one that serves the common wealth of the affected communities.
  • Tom Taylor
    signed 2019-07-23 03:14:25 +1000
  • Ian Maddocks
    signed 2019-07-22 23:59:16 +1000
  • Grant Thornton
    signed 2019-07-22 21:33:46 +1000
  • Shay Holmes
    signed 2019-07-22 21:29:26 +1000
    Shay Holmes
  • Michael Camilleri
    signed 2019-07-22 20:45:04 +1000
    Michael Camilleri
  • Anne Degoumois
    signed 2019-07-22 20:02:00 +1000
  • Ash Peplow Ball
    signed 2019-07-22 19:55:55 +1000
  • Diane Edwards
    signed 2019-07-22 18:30:32 +1000
    Royal Commission NOW.
  • Gerald Quayle
    signed 2019-07-22 17:52:16 +1000
  • Gary Warren
    signed 2019-07-22 17:13:05 +1000
  • Roger Corben
    signed 2019-07-22 16:35:01 +1000
  • Pat Goodwin
    signed 2019-07-22 15:21:46 +1000
  • David Quince
    signed 2019-07-22 13:54:03 +1000
    David Quince
  • Wayne Nissen
    signed 2019-07-22 13:42:23 +1000
    Australians need confidence the MDB plan is working where it is working and/or evidence of mismanagement where it is not working
  • Derry Talvainn
    signed 2019-07-22 12:23:55 +1000
    Derry Talvainn