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?

  • Scott Johnston
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:34 +1000
    Scott Johnston
  • Margaret Mackenzie
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:29 +1000
  • Elizabeth Waugh
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:28 +1000
  • Dean Jennings
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:22 +1000
    Yet more public funding pouring into the private coffers of economically- and environmentally-unsustainable corporate activity. We need income justice, eco justice and public-patrimony justice more urgently every year, but the Murdoch media keep delivering us anti-government governments that are dedicated to preserving and expanding the injustices which forty years of ThatcheReaganomics have driven deep into our commercial landscape. Time to resist, with every spare ounce of energy available to us. Don’t mourn: ORGANISE!
  • Maureen Whichello
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:19 +1000
    Disgraceful we don’t need cotton use hemp and save money
  • Katherine Gribben
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:17 +1000
  • Felicity Allen
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:16 +1000
    Let’s find out who’s benefiting from this. Any politicians with their sticky fingers in the till? Not a few weeks as for the banks. Pretend they’re a union and investigate them as long as you can
  • Stuart Barker
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:15 +1000
    Stuart Barker
  • Robin Humphrey
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:14 +1000
  • Lloyd Palmer
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:14 +1000
    Send em to jail, and use proceeds of crime legislation
  • Tony Keys
    signed 2019-07-09 11:11:04 +1000
  • Sandra O'Flynn
    signed 2019-07-09 11:10:59 +1000
  • Cynthia Grahame
    signed 2019-07-09 11:10:51 +1000
    William Grahame
  • Kim Perry
    signed 2019-07-09 11:10:50 +1000
    Scandalous misuse of public money, and criminal neglect and mismanagement of our water resources
  • AlexOonagh Redmond
    signed 2019-07-09 11:10:45 +1000
  • Valdis Svars
    signed 2019-07-09 11:10:45 +1000
  • Alice McAvoy
    signed 2019-07-09 11:10:42 +1000
  • Sandra Legge
    signed 2019-07-09 11:10:35 +1000
    What has happened in the Murrumbidgee area is alarming. Tax payers money handed out to farmers small & massive corporates which ends up more water taken from the system… The damage being done is frightening.
  • David and Vivien Street
    signed 2019-07-09 11:10:31 +1000
  • jeremy white
    signed 2019-07-09 11:10:29 +1000
  • greg cure
    signed 2019-07-09 11:10:27 +1000
    if the government thinks there is no problem they need to explain why. if this river system dies the country is in real trouble. This isa dry country we cant mismanage this. Why did the Government stop federal employees giving evidence to the SA royal commission.
  • Rhett McDonald
    signed 2019-07-09 11:10:26 +1000
  • Amelia Hanslow
    signed 2019-07-09 11:10:25 +1000
  • Anne Taylor
    signed 2019-07-09 11:10:25 +1000
  • Gillian Reffell
    signed 2019-07-09 11:10:22 +1000
    Corporate power is taking over our government systems. We need a federal ICAC. We need major curbs on political donations.
  • Gael newton
    signed 2019-07-09 11:10:21 +1000
    Curious how the state and fate of teh Darling River system has always refleted the state of the nation
  • David Wright
    signed 2019-07-09 11:10:10 +1000
    David G Wright
  • Robert Harding
    signed 2019-07-09 11:10:07 +1000