About the Murray-Darling Basin Plan
In 2007 all sides of politics in all Murray-Darling Basin states, as well as the federal government, agreed that there was an urgent need to change the way water is managed in the Murray-Darling. This led to the passing of the Commonwealth Water Act 2007 through both Houses of Federal Parliament. The Act called for the establishment of the independent Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) for the development of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
The Guide to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, released in October 2010, was the first step in this process.
The MDBA has now released the draft Murray-Darling Basin Plan for a twenty weeks public review period.
Unfortunately, a review panel of Australia’s leading river scientists tasked with assessing the science used in the draft plan has found that the additional 2750 billion litres of water for the environment – as proposed in the draft – will fail to make the Murray-Darling healthy.
This is our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make our rivers healthy. Having come so far, it is important to get the last few steps right. The final plan is likely to be introduced to Federal Parliament next year. Our leaders should only support a Basin Plan which is based on credible science and proposes returning enough water to restore the rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin to long-term health.
A watered down plan based on misinformation and politics will end up wasting $10 billion of Australian taxpayer’s money while failing to deliver what is required to make the Murray-Darling healthy.
The test for our leaders is whether or not we make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and establish sound economic and environmental management of our rivers.
During these twenty weeks public consultation period, Voices for the Murray-Darling are speaking up: we are speaking at public meetings and events, in the media, and to our leaders, asking them to act in the national interest and restore the Murray-Darling to health before the next drought.
Keep visiting this website page for testimonials from farmers, fishers, irrigators, health groups and environmental groups on what we want to see from the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.