Taking water from the top means less at the bottom, say irrigators.
EVER-widening divisions between graziers and irrigation farmers on floodplains in the state’s north, while in the south disgust at how paying water users are being treated, is heightening tensions within the Murray-Darling Basin.
This estimated 3000GL far exceeds the 1800GL NSW and Victoria are legally obliged to supply to South Australia.
“not only do floodplain harvesting diversions deny economic opportunities across the Northern Basin, left unregulated they are one of the most significant threats to water security in the Northern Murray-Darling Basin”.
An unsolicited modification of licences for irrigators on the Macquarie River has allowed water earmarked for protecting one of the most important wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin to be diverted for a cotton crop.
When a lawyer of the standing of Bret Walker SC uses language such as “maladministration”, “unlawful”, “gross negligence” and “indefensible” to describe the conduct of a statutory authority, it’s understandable that it attracts attention.
“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.