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?

  • Suzanne Northcott
    signed 2019-07-09 11:06:06 +1000
  • Amy Ly
    signed 2019-07-09 11:05:59 +1000
  • Melanie Smith
    signed 2019-07-09 11:05:48 +1000
  • Kym Houghton
    signed 2019-07-09 11:05:45 +1000
    2 aspects of this matter disturb me: the idea that private financial advantage has been gained from public money; and that an initiative so critical to our future is being actively frustrated.
  • Kate Eccles
    signed 2019-07-09 11:05:40 +1000
  • Thomas Waddell
    signed 2019-07-09 11:05:39 +1000
    At best, irresponsible, at worst….
  • Chris Shaw
    signed 2019-07-09 11:05:36 +1000
  • Peter Abrehart
    signed 2019-07-09 11:05:35 +1000
  • Janet Petroff
    signed 2019-07-09 11:05:35 +1000
    It’s a terrible scandal, such selfish disregard for others and the environment. May those farmers go broke and the politicians that allow such corruption go down in flames!
  • Frances Hutson
    signed 2019-07-09 11:05:34 +1000
  • Margo Beilby
    signed 2019-07-09 11:05:31 +1000
  • Erica Jolly
    signed 2019-07-09 11:05:24 +1000
    There is so much secrecy about the deals done with big business enabling them to take so much water. Making the public waterway needing to flow into a water market to be bought and sold shows just how seriously flawed the Murray-Darling Basin scheme is. It is not working to the long term advantage of the communities by supporting its environmental role.
  • Phoebe Brand
    signed 2019-07-09 11:05:22 +1000
  • Keyne Magrauth-Gibson
    signed 2019-07-09 11:05:18 +1000
  • John Bransby
    signed 2019-07-09 11:05:16 +1000
  • David Murphy
    signed 2019-07-09 11:05:16 +1000
  • Valerie Faber
    signed 2019-07-09 11:05:12 +1000
  • Sjirk Bangma
    signed 2019-07-09 11:05:11 +1000
    This water allocation scandal has to come to an end. We need transparent national laws and legislation dealing with water allocations nationwide.
  • John Weightman
    signed 2019-07-09 11:05:09 +1000
  • Leonie Barnett
    signed 2019-07-09 11:05:07 +1000
    Australia’s water resources also need to be managed in the interest of the natural environment.
  • Peter Bonifacio
    signed 2019-07-09 11:05:04 +1000
  • Gerry Egan
    signed 2019-07-09 11:05:04 +1000
  • Toby Fiander
    signed 2019-07-09 11:04:58 +1000
    get Bret Walker and Richard Beasley – they already have the background from their work in SA
  • don miller
    signed 2019-07-09 11:04:54 +1000
    a disgusting deceit by the government
  • Alison Supple
    signed 2019-07-09 11:04:54 +1000
    Thank you for keeping we the people informed and aware.

    Federal ICAC now.
  • Bruce Thurtell
    signed 2019-07-09 11:04:53 +1000
    This has be happen quickly
  • Sarndra Steel
    signed 2019-07-09 11:04:52 +1000
    Sarndra Steel
  • Franklin Bruinstroop
    signed 2019-07-09 11:04:52 +1000
  • Richard Variakojis
    signed 2019-07-09 11:04:49 +1000
    This stunning and unique landscape deserves better than this glorified corporate consultancy firm we call a government.
  • Ruth Steel
    signed 2019-07-09 11:04:44 +1000