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?

  • Jae Krauter
    signed 2019-11-03 21:07:17 +1100
    I am deeply disturbed by the dangerous mis-management of our water and total disrespect of our waterways, with little or no regards to either our environment or the people of Australia..
  • Annabel McClure
    signed 2019-11-03 20:55:45 +1100
  • Andrew Calleia
    signed 2019-11-03 20:25:09 +1100
  • kali dalton
    signed 2019-11-03 20:02:32 +1100
  • Steven Davis
    signed 2019-11-03 19:52:29 +1100
  • Ivan Ross
    signed 2019-11-03 19:44:19 +1100
  • Steve Mccammon
    signed 2019-11-03 18:39:22 +1100
  • Travis Hogan
    signed 2019-11-03 18:29:41 +1100
  • Ann Leonard
    signed 2019-11-03 17:35:24 +1100
  • Alie Arjaans
    signed 2019-11-03 17:25:43 +1100
    It is important that the life of the re=iver be given priority over all other agendas and needs, as an entity in its own right we need to protect it beyond the small interests of humanity. It serves a larger purpose than our own.
  • Geoff Beeson
    signed 2019-11-03 16:56:19 +1100
  • Elizabeth Fielding
    signed 2019-11-03 16:07:41 +1100
    A Royal Commission obviously needs to make the point that time is running out. This is a crisis of catastrophic proportions.
  • Kim Faulkner
    signed 2019-11-03 15:35:09 +1100
  • Catherine Reynolds
    signed 2019-11-03 14:59:13 +1100
  • Matt Schubert
    signed 2019-11-03 14:06:41 +1100
  • Jane Graham
    signed 2019-11-03 14:04:11 +1100
  • Malcolm Morris
    signed 2019-11-03 13:47:43 +1100
  • Christine Walker
    signed 2019-11-03 13:19:21 +1100
  • Vassy Cotsiopoulos
    signed 2019-11-03 12:58:30 +1100
    Water management in this country needs a major investigation. Greed over common sense is proving a disaster. We need genuine people in leadership positions who operate for the positive benefit of all people. Especially the people in the dryer communities who must have fresh water at hand for their survival.
  • Aimee Kinnear
    signed 2019-11-03 12:24:04 +1100
  • Peter Low
    signed 2019-11-03 11:55:10 +1100
  • Bec Spellman
    signed 2019-11-03 11:51:29 +1100
    C’mon, help fix our country!