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?

  • Petra den Hartog
    signed 2019-07-09 11:12:54 +1000
  • Jonty Martin
    signed 2019-07-09 11:12:51 +1000
  • Alan Cameron
    signed 2019-07-09 11:12:50 +1000
    The Murray river has been under investigation for decades but the political section has no clue about the true implications of their decisions. Large companies have greater control over politicians than the small farmers who have the best knowledge of the land and it use.
  • Scott Coppin
    signed 2019-07-09 11:12:48 +1000
  • Julie Wyner
    signed 2019-07-09 11:12:46 +1000
  • Ian Gibbins
    signed 2019-07-09 11:12:46 +1000
  • Jill Lieblich
    signed 2019-07-09 11:12:42 +1000
  • Richard Armstrong
    signed 2019-07-09 11:12:40 +1000
  • Natalie Staub
    signed 2019-07-09 11:12:39 +1000
  • Val Blair
    signed 2019-07-09 11:12:37 +1000
  • Christine Henry
    signed 2019-07-09 11:12:34 +1000
  • John Croker
    signed 2019-07-09 11:12:31 +1000
  • Andy Yeomans
    signed 2019-07-09 11:12:27 +1000
    Andy Yeomans
  • Peter R Davis
    signed 2019-07-09 11:12:20 +1000
  • Reziah Taylor
    signed 2019-07-09 11:12:17 +1000
    The management of these water systems and the ridiculous amount of money changing hands for no benefit needs to receive some real, independent scrutiny and investigation. If there’s nothing to hide, this should be welcomed though I somehow doubt this level of mismanagement can simply be due to incompetence.
  • Jane Clancy
    signed 2019-07-09 11:12:09 +1000
  • Gregory Evans
    signed 2019-07-09 11:12:08 +1000
  • Julia Kerr
    signed 2019-07-09 11:12:08 +1000
    Please do not phone me! I am a pensioner and cannot afford to give any more money to charities and other causes, so it would only be a waste of your resources as well as being very upsetting to me.
  • Marion Ferguson
    signed 2019-07-09 11:12:05 +1000
  • Patrick O'Connor
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:59 +1000
    Pat O’Connor
  • Sandra Graham
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:54 +1000
    Sandra Graham
  • Billie Brace
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:53 +1000
  • Cecile Storrie
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:53 +1000
  • Anna Bulman
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:48 +1000
  • paul stevens
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:44 +1000
  • Harrison Prince
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:42 +1000
  • Darryl Ingvarson
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:41 +1000
  • Malcolm Whyte
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:38 +1000
  • Sue McKinnon
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:38 +1000
    This issue is above party politics, it is the life blood of our most arable land of 4 states. We need to understand what has happened and move forward addressing it fully before it is too late.
  • Silvia Rosenstreich
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:36 +1000
    Silvia Rosenstreich