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.

15,911 signatures

Will you sign?

  • John Payne
    signed 2019-07-09 11:14:23 +1000
  • Keith armstrong
    signed 2019-07-09 11:14:23 +1000
  • Gerald Richards
    signed 2019-07-09 11:14:19 +1000
  • Elizabeth Honey
    signed 2019-07-09 11:14:14 +1000
    Elizabeth Honey
  • Ally Farmer
    signed 2019-07-09 11:14:13 +1000
  • john chulio
    signed 2019-07-09 11:14:11 +1000
  • Toby Rowallan
    signed 2019-07-09 11:14:09 +1000
    Our water is precious and scarce, and in this country we are wasting it as though it were infinite and abundant.

    We cannot afford to keep going as we are.
  • Elizabeth Packett
    signed 2019-07-09 11:14:08 +1000
    Water back to the Rivers! Not Big Business!
  • Heather Meyer
    signed 2019-07-09 11:14:00 +1000
    Signing out of disgust with government ignoring science expertise, in solidarity with AI work and views, but with very little hope that even with a RC anything will change.
  • Diane Baird
    signed 2019-07-09 11:13:55 +1000
    Diane Baird
  • Bonita Maywald
    signed 2019-07-09 11:13:54 +1000
    Bonita Maywald
  • Val Pither
    signed 2019-07-09 11:13:52 +1000
  • Carlos Whiley
    signed 2019-07-09 11:13:50 +1000
  • Phil Walcott
    signed 2019-07-09 11:13:48 +1000
  • James Horton
    signed 2019-07-09 11:13:46 +1000
    James Horton
  • Delia Bradshaw
    signed 2019-07-09 11:13:42 +1000
  • Laurie Forde
    signed 2019-07-09 11:13:42 +1000
    This is more than just mismanagement. It appears to be a deliberate ripoff of taxpayer funds in favour of big agriculturalists and other Coalition backers.
  • John Paterson
    signed 2019-07-09 11:13:41 +1000
  • Sheridan Mayo
    signed 2019-07-09 11:13:39 +1000
    Sheridan Clare Mayo
  • Cg Hughes
    signed 2019-07-09 11:13:33 +1000
    Good work, this has been going on in one form or another, and in varying degrees of rorting, for literally decades.

    Can remember from as far back as the ’70’s when my father was still farming.

    However, it has certainly reached dizzying heights of corruption in recent years, and needs to be stopped, along with unsustainable, inappropriate cropping, denial of water to downstream users, and the ecological ruination of the river systems, and all that rely and thrive from them.
  • Rod Quantock
    signed 2019-07-09 11:13:33 +1000
  • Michael Bull
    signed 2019-07-09 11:13:31 +1000
    Michael Bull
  • Barbara Hughes
    signed 2019-07-09 11:13:25 +1000
  • Brian Weavers
    signed 2019-07-09 11:13:22 +1000
  • Mason Ball
    signed 2019-07-09 11:13:12 +1000
  • Robert Mitchell
    signed 2019-07-09 11:13:11 +1000
  • Malcolm Edward-Cole
    signed 2019-07-09 11:13:03 +1000
    Come Australia! Wake up its almost too late . . .