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.

15,884 signatures

Will you sign?

  • Nikki McKay
    signed 2019-11-09 09:32:25 +1100
  • Kirby Cini
    signed 2019-11-09 08:55:28 +1100
  • Winsome Dockter
    signed 2019-11-09 06:25:26 +1100
  • Roxanne Risborg
    signed 2019-11-09 00:00:53 +1100
  • Bradley Hopper
    signed 2019-11-08 17:55:13 +1100
  • C Wolf
    signed 2019-11-07 22:33:41 +1100
  • Mark Winters
    signed 2019-11-07 21:11:34 +1100
    In 2017 we drove the Old Cobb & Co track beside the Darling to Bourke; it was a series of muddy puddles THEN, but the HUGE cotton farm dams were FULL (have photos to prove). FIX IT NOW!
  • Josie Muller
    signed 2019-11-07 16:18:10 +1100
    A Royal Commission- immediately, if not sooner.
  • Lisa Ziliotto
    signed 2019-11-07 15:33:42 +1100
  • Russell Erwin
    signed 2019-11-07 15:05:06 +1100
    Absolutely essential. This is truly a catastrophe . What are we leaving those who come after us?
  • Kelly Jones
    signed 2019-11-07 12:42:53 +1100
  • Jennifer Goudie
    signed 2019-11-07 11:00:18 +1100
  • Derrick Butcher
    signed 2019-11-07 10:30:58 +1100
    Let’s stop all the mismanagement
  • Trevor Naughton
    signed 2019-11-07 08:53:52 +1100
    This is a “No Brainer”. Why are we selling water to those who just want to trade in it ?
  • Matt Clarke
    signed 2019-11-07 08:13:29 +1100
  • Steph Burgess
    signed 2019-11-07 07:45:07 +1100
  • Helen Wilson
    signed 2019-11-06 23:13:13 +1100
  • Virginia Tropeano
    signed 2019-11-06 22:29:47 +1100
  • Fred Haskins
    signed 2019-11-06 20:48:34 +1100
    We were told we didn’t need a banking Royal Commission, we were told we didn’t need a Royal Commission into child abuse in the institutions , and now they tell us we don’t need a Royal Commission into the MDB and the alleged unauthorised access of MDB water. hullo,!
  • Julie Dyball
    signed 2019-11-06 20:33:13 +1100
  • Sarah Shelton
    signed 2019-11-06 19:50:33 +1100
  • Jean Forbes
    signed 2019-11-06 18:00:55 +1100
  • Therese Hume
    signed 2019-11-06 17:06:37 +1100