Murray-Darling Basin Authority: a royal, commissioned farce

Dec 25, 2018

“A fraud on the environment” is how lawyers for the Royal Commission framed it. Cronyism, cover-ups, deception, secrecy, scientists “leaned on”. The Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission report is to be handed down in little over a month and the outcome, for Australia’s water authorities, will not be pretty. Triskele reports – in a tragi-comedy in three acts – on the extraordinary events surrounding Australia’s most critical inland water system.

Michael West MDBA 20181225

‘Drought, climate change and mismanagement’: What experts think caused the death of a million Menindee fish

ABC Science

By environment reporter Nick Kilvert

The sight of more than a million fish floating belly up on the Darling River at Menindee has thrown doubt over the management of the Murray-Darling Basin.

Experts say irrigators are taking too much water from the system, and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority has mismanaged water flows.

But New South Wales Water Minister Niall Blair says drought is to blame.

“Drought, climate change and mismanagement”: What experts think caused the death of a million Menindee fish

Murray-Darling Basin Plan ‘maladministered’, South Australia will suffer the most

Critics of the handling of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan say the final submission to the South Australian Royal Commission vindicates their concerns of corrupted implementation.

A significant element of the evidence before the royal commission has been the lack of scientific backing for the MDBA’s modelling that showed 2,750 gigalitres of water could be recovered for the environment under the plan. All the scientific evidence presented to the royal commission said the modelling was ‘not science’, Beasley said.

The Mandarin – MDB Maladministration

Large agribusiness gains most from $13bn Murray-Darling plan, report finds

A new report looking at how the $13bn for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is being spent has found that big agribusiness is being compensated for giving up access to water while communities, graziers, small irrigators and native title holders are having to wear the often harsh effects of the plan.

“There is no doubt that everyone in the Lower Darling will be affected by the Menindee project, including through economic loss. The Webster deal has set a precedent for compensation to be paid to all stakeholders: Barkandji, graziers, Menindee businesses and property owners and irrigators,” TAI’s senior water researcher, Maryanne Slattery, said.

The Guardian – Large Agribusiness the winner