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?

  • Anthony Wood
    signed 2019-07-09 11:07:47 +1000
  • Lyn Godfrey
    signed 2019-07-09 11:07:44 +1000
    Lyn Godfrey
  • Garry Roberts
    signed 2019-07-09 11:07:35 +1000
  • Jessica Robbins
    signed 2019-07-09 11:07:26 +1000
  • Luanne Hill
    signed 2019-07-09 11:07:17 +1000
  • Paul Korczak-Krzeczowski
    signed 2019-07-09 11:07:17 +1000
  • Kerry O'Connor
    signed 2019-07-09 11:07:14 +1000
    Kerry O’Connor
  • john Mowbray
    signed 2019-07-09 11:07:13 +1000
  • Andrew Bettison
    signed 2019-07-09 11:07:07 +1000
    The Murray-Darling water management is murkier than the silted up river itself. Time for some clarity and accountability.
  • Helen Artacho
    signed 2019-07-09 11:07:07 +1000
  • Zebadiah Peno
    signed 2019-07-09 11:07:04 +1000
  • Robert Macfarlane
    signed 2019-07-09 11:07:03 +1000
    Show responsible management or Go to jail!
  • Kay Martinelli
    signed 2019-07-09 11:07:01 +1000
  • Joan Nelson
    signed 2019-07-09 11:07:00 +1000
    I’m happy to receive email updates but please don’t waste resources sending anything by post.
  • Martinne Lüdicke
    signed 2019-07-09 11:06:59 +1000
  • Piers Booth
    signed 2019-07-09 11:06:57 +1000
    Piers Booth
  • ian fenton
    signed 2019-07-09 11:06:51 +1000
    Our government is screwing the New start and pensioners, so they can brag about been in the black, what so to help the rich Corporations, lets have another election, were the true is told.
  • jim altimira
    signed 2019-07-09 11:06:41 +1000
    jim altimira
  • Gary Grocott
    signed 2019-07-09 11:06:34 +1000
    All cotton farms in Queensland and NSW should be returned to the natural environment.
  • Paul Handel
    signed 2019-07-09 11:06:34 +1000
  • Andrea Simmons
    signed 2019-07-09 11:06:25 +1000
  • Jacqueline Lachmann
    signed 2019-07-09 11:06:21 +1000
  • Ross Hosking
    signed 2019-07-09 11:06:19 +1000
  • Rosemary Johnston
    signed 2019-07-09 11:06:19 +1000
    This initiative of a Royal Commission is imperative but all govt and institutional officials involved in the management of water from the Murrumbidgee, Darling and Murray Rivers as well as those who have benefitted from the ‘corrupt’ sale of water must be made to appear.
  • Felicity Sinton
    signed 2019-07-09 11:06:19 +1000
  • Vyonne Mulrooney
    signed 2019-07-09 11:06:17 +1000
  • John Cederblad
    signed 2019-07-09 11:06:17 +1000
  • Stephen Fitzgerald
    signed 2019-07-09 11:06:10 +1000
    The LNP are the political arm of big business. With the help of a Murdoch monopoly, in Queensland, and a $1020 tax back, the LNP have bribed their way back into power. They have proven they don’t care about the environment and the MDB is just more collateral damage to profit. www.hootgallery.com
  • Robert Roestenburg
    signed 2019-07-09 11:06:08 +1000
    The heritage of the Murray/Darling basin and the future of it’s survival depend on a Royal Commission finding the causes of the dying of this system and the rectification called for to restore it to health.