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

BREAKING: 60 Minutes, with the help of Australia Institute research, has revealed that the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) caused ecological harm and reduced water to irrigators when it caused floods at the ‘Barmah choke’ and drained the Menindee Lakes.

Our report Southern Discomfort: water losses in the southern Murray Darling Basin exposed how, while everyone else in the Basin was dealing with drought, the MDBA created a flood and lost large volumes of water. The artificial flood from August to January was not for environmental purposes, in fact it caused environmental harm. The out of season flooding eroded banks and damaged the internationally significant Barmah-Millewa forest. This would not have happened if the MDBA had managed the river in line with its official objectives, which expressly prioritise water conservation and efficiency.

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 reports on dodgy major water purchases throughout the basin led to the #Watergate scandal revelations. 

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.

15,884 signatures

Will you sign?

  • Michael Inhelder
    signed 2020-01-03 11:59:52 +1100
  • Cath Connor
    signed 2020-01-03 09:11:52 +1100
  • Zac Callaghan
    signed 2019-12-30 19:00:29 +1100
  • Christine Standfast
    signed 2019-12-28 21:51:43 +1100
  • Lincoln Stokes
    signed 2019-12-19 17:49:25 +1100
  • Josh Linton
    signed 2019-12-19 12:04:06 +1100
  • Peter Delgado
    signed 2019-12-18 14:26:47 +1100
  • Amy Peterson
    signed 2019-12-16 10:44:19 +1100
  • Dee Day
    signed 2019-12-15 10:12:12 +1100
  • Renee Rowley
    signed 2019-12-14 09:05:53 +1100
    Don’t let this be another case of, too little too late.
  • Anne Corbett
    signed 2019-12-14 08:07:56 +1100
  • Heidi Glenn
    signed 2019-12-09 17:59:24 +1100
  • Kaleb Morrow
    signed 2019-12-08 18:19:50 +1100
  • Paul Silver
    signed 2019-12-08 09:21:52 +1100
  • Glenn Anderson
    signed 2019-12-03 17:56:01 +1100
  • ivan olsen
    signed 2019-12-03 17:42:32 +1100
  • john carpenter
    signed 2019-11-30 18:41:59 +1100
  • georg szalontai
    signed 2019-11-29 18:38:59 +1100
  • Debbie Carter
    signed 2019-11-26 11:29:59 +1100
    Our Australian Govt is destroying Australia

    Shame on them all
  • Dianne Reilly
    signed 2019-11-25 17:05:09 +1100
  • Kevin Driver
    signed 2019-11-22 21:05:52 +1100
  • Keith Sefton
    signed 2019-11-22 15:29:08 +1100
    Go get em
  • Gail Vincent
    signed 2019-11-22 10:51:18 +1100
  • Karen Tomlinson
    signed 2019-11-21 10:11:52 +1100
    This is exactly the opposite if what we need to do. No cotton, hemp is less water intensive. No almonds unless they can find ways to be less water intensive. Macadamias don’t need much water.