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.

15,905 signatures

Will you sign?

  • Cath Stuart
    signed 2019-07-09 11:09:44 +1000
  • Simon Wood
    signed 2019-07-09 11:09:35 +1000
    It is vitally important to get to the bottom of this waste of public money.
  • Anne Bruynel
    signed 2019-07-09 11:09:33 +1000
    Water is our most precious resource. Allocation of water MUST be fair and equitable to protect small business It is absolutely essential ensure a sustainable river system to protect our biodiversity.
  • Anthony Maydwell
    signed 2019-07-09 11:09:32 +1000
  • Heather Reed
    signed 2019-07-09 11:09:31 +1000
  • Amanda Allport-Haller
    signed 2019-07-09 11:09:31 +1000
    Absolutely disgusted with the manner the Federal Govt. has allowed this to happened. We need a thorough investigation into the management of our precious water resources and the waste of tax payer $ being spent for the wrong reasons to the benefit of the wrong people.
  • John Langer
    signed 2019-07-09 11:09:24 +1000
  • John Macarthur
    signed 2019-07-09 11:09:24 +1000
    what a disgrace for the nation
  • Merv Renton
    signed 2019-07-09 11:09:22 +1000
    Water needs to be managed for ALL Australians and the Environment. Get politics out of it!
  • Greg Nunn
    signed 2019-07-09 11:09:19 +1000
  • Willie Senanayake
    signed 2019-07-09 11:09:13 +1000
  • Cynthia Anderson
    signed 2019-07-09 11:09:12 +1000
  • Bernadette Reeders
    signed 2019-07-09 11:09:11 +1000
    Bernadette Reeders
  • Rob Collier
    signed 2019-07-09 11:09:09 +1000
  • Paul Casbolt
    signed 2019-07-09 11:09:09 +1000
  • Julia Ward
    signed 2019-07-09 11:09:06 +1000
  • Barbara Darvall
    signed 2019-07-09 11:09:05 +1000
  • Mary Grant
    signed 2019-07-09 11:09:05 +1000
    Mary Grant
  • Russell Bambridge
    signed 2019-07-09 11:09:04 +1000
  • Paula Young
    signed 2019-07-09 11:09:04 +1000
  • Anthony Sheehan
    signed 2019-07-09 11:08:57 +1000
  • Suzette Markwell
    signed 2019-07-09 11:08:50 +1000
  • Fred Sim
    signed 2019-07-09 11:08:50 +1000
  • Shirley Hynes
    signed 2019-07-09 11:08:48 +1000
    This is a scandal of the worst magnitude! A dead river system sold out to profiteers.
  • Valerie Byford
    signed 2019-07-09 11:08:48 +1000
  • Ray Bricknell
    signed 2019-07-09 11:08:43 +1000
    Not good enough!
  • Peter Allan
    signed 2019-07-09 11:08:42 +1000
    Peter Allan
  • June Coleman
    signed 2019-07-09 11:08:34 +1000
    This whole water management issue appears an absolute disgrace. Despite many Royal Commissions being called across a range of issues, this is one that deserves very close scrutiny.
  • John Marshall
    signed 2019-07-09 11:08:34 +1000