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?

  • Brendan Gulson
    signed 2019-11-05 15:18:53 +1100
  • Robyn Maslen
    signed 2019-11-05 15:18:28 +1100
    The forests have been flooded for 12 months, our farmers have been on ZERO water allocation for 2 years so it is having a terrible affect on our town, we have lost 100+ jobs. Our farmers & our kids have no future here. The flooding of the forests have killed the native fish and has turned our tourists away.
  • Darryn Smith
    signed 2019-11-05 14:29:14 +1100
  • Anne Lawrence
    signed 2019-11-05 14:02:31 +1100
  • Cheryl Hand
    signed 2019-11-05 13:13:22 +1100
  • Jan Brooks
    signed 2019-11-05 13:08:54 +1100
  • Claire Goldsmith
    signed 2019-11-05 12:35:33 +1100
    The state of our river systems and the management of our water supply both above and below the ground is appalling. I think the actions of governments that have allowed this state of affairs is the equivalent of abuse in the form of financial abuse (people have lost income), psychological abuse (manifestly lying to the people), environmental abuse (water loss has resulted in the destruction of the environment far and wide) and loss of amenity (by draining the rivers of their water which people everywhere needs to sustain them). There needs to be accountability
  • Alison Brooks
    signed 2019-11-05 11:57:40 +1100
    Sack Littlproud!
  • Therese Czabania
    signed 2019-11-05 10:55:37 +1100
    Stop selling water rights to foreigners.

    Build the Bradfield Scheme.

    We get plenty of water in floods which we must be able to store rather than running it out to sea.
  • Colleen Gardner
    signed 2019-11-05 10:52:56 +1100
  • Chris Brooks
    signed 2019-11-05 10:24:02 +1100
    Go get em.
  • Russell Crow
    signed 2019-11-05 10:12:46 +1100
  • Ron Collingburb
    signed 2019-11-05 10:06:19 +1100
  • Anna Merlo
    signed 2019-11-05 10:03:35 +1100
  • Jane Barrett
    signed 2019-11-05 09:42:27 +1100
    This is a national disgrace and the way this government has not supported farmers in drought is shameful. Looking after top side of town and the Chinese. It makes me sick
  • Ian Bennett
    signed 2019-11-05 09:34:12 +1100
    Action is needed immediately, scrap the plan and arrange an alternative one then there will be time for a royal commission, in reality time is of the essence!
  • pat b
    signed 2019-11-05 09:22:35 +1100
    I think it’s disgusting that our water is used mostly for big businesses

    It’s disgusting this mismanagement of our water shame on these pollies writing it all off for $$$$
  • Sue Adams
    signed 2019-11-05 07:09:32 +1100
  • margaret harvey
    signed 2019-11-05 06:47:30 +1100
  • Darren Blake
    signed 2019-11-05 05:43:14 +1100
  • Dale Holland
    signed 2019-11-04 23:58:12 +1100