The Murray-Darling Basin Scam

When John Howard announced in January 2007 that he was going to take over control of the Murray-Darling Basin and provide $10 Billion to do so, he had no idea of how this would happen, what needed to be done or how the money would be spent. He was responding to a series of wildly inaccurate claims made by a sensationalist driven media unconcerned with truth or reason.

This incursion of the Federal Government into the State’s constitutional right to the management of rivers and their water was driven only by politics in a run up to a Federal election. Sensationalist and mostly false claims were accepted and the fact that we were in a very long drought was no considered relevant. Emotional sophistry replaced truth and reason as it was claimed that our rivers were dying as the result of extraction by irrigators and lack of flow in the Murray was the cause of hyper salinity in the Coorong. Claims of dying river red gums, drying wetlands and species loss were repeated with graphic but mostly misleading detail.

The Result: Is a Plan that that is costing Governments both revenue and credibility as regional communities across the whole MDB are regressing. The businesses that grow, process and transport our food and fibre are being destroyed by the removal of the vital input of water and the Government inspired racket called the water market. Incredibly, the Plan is badly impacting the environment it is supposed to be assisting and genuine environmental issues are not being addressed.

What has happened is the removal of water from thousands of hectares of productive farmland that was also pristine habitat for aquatic species. Much of this habitat is in farmers cropping fields and run-off wetlands established by farmers over several generations.

Productive farmland providing pristine habitat for aquatic species.

Productive land is being rendered unproductive and as a result uninhabitable to aquatic species as water is removed only to be flushed to the sea, in the mistaken belief that this is beneficial to “The Environment;” demonstrating that those responsible have little understanding of what “The Environment” is.

Ron Pike.

7 thoughts on “The Murray-Darling Basin Scam”

  1. And how much of this nonsense is vastly more complicated due to us having signed up to the various endangered species, migratory birds, wetlands and other international agreements and national and state green legislation? Obama caused huge problems to US businesses with his ridiculous ‘Waters of the USA’ legislation, which Trump is now winding back. When are we going to wake up that these nonsense commitments achieve nothing except lost business opportunities and profits, whilst providing thousands of jobs for green public servants?

  2. Very true Boyfrom Tottenham.
    Turnbull introduced the Federal Water Act ( contrary to Section 100 of the Constitution) under cover of the Ramsar Convention signed in Iran in 1971. It is costing the nation Billions and actually destroying wetland habitat.

  3. Stop Turnbull Website;

    September, 2006 – Turnbull repeatedly says the Australian people should be paying more for water, and his plan will make it happen.

    “Water has been too cheap…Just compare, if you are living in Sydney or Melbourne, or Brisbane, for that matter, compare your water bill to your electricity bill and you’ll see what I mean. Urban water has been too cheap.” 43,44,45
    1st November, 2006 – Turnbull announces his plan to waste taxpayers money on taking water from productive Aussie farmers in the Murray-Darling basin, and putting it back into the river so it can uselessly flow out to sea. All for the sake of “the environment”. Turnbull says:

    “…the share [of water] allocated to agriculture versus the environment has been excessive and what we’ve done…By regulating the river Murray we have turned it on its head.”
    The move will lower production and increase food prices for consumers, forcing them to switch to imports.

    18th November, 2006 – The federal National Party support the Victorian state Liberal-National Opposition’s plan for a dam on the Maribyrnong River, but Turnbull declines to support the dam when given an opportunity, instead saying:

    “We have to increase the share of city water supplies that aren’t climate-dependent.” 46,47
    22nd November, 2006 – Turnbull releases a report that effectively rules out building new dams, even predicting some will be completely dry by 2008 due to so-called “anthropogenic global warming”. The report cites the “Wentworth Group” as an authoritative source, even though the group was founded and funded by the radical green World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

    Further, Turnbull again says people must pay far higher prices for water so that the necessary capital can be raised to construct expensive desalination plants and recycling facilities, which aren’t dependent on so-called ”anthropogenic global warming”.48

    Turnbull also pushes household water rationing with tradability, yet another regulation that would push up the cost of water.49

  4. Heavy flooding like recently up north should be controlled with Channels into excavated large deep holes like open cut Mines, in the flat west, similar to the way the DUTCH do to reclaim Land (POLDERS only in reverse). This would assist and relieve some major flooding, and provide storage. Does this seem plausible. I made this comment and submission when an inquiry was made to preserve water in the western districts, just a few Dozers size D11 7 scrapers, excavaters & $$$$$$ & will POWER!

    1. Artur – you were a pioneer in the snowy mountains scheme with your father and mother – I fear artur that when all you know is a hammer 🔨 that everything looks like a nail!
      The MDB is an environmental system first BUT has been relentlessly raped and pillaged by agricultural engineering systems since settlement. ‘Growth’ as we have known it, must be reconsidered immediately- toward environmental recovery and recycling engineering . Continued population growth, digging more dams, diverting rivers, floodplain harvesting is no longer sustainable

  5. These are great sensible comments put up. Always very interesting to get the history of our current problems.
    Have a friend who wrote a song called “ The Darling is Dying” in 1996 so overallocation goes back futher than more recent times.
    Cotton got going in 1950-60 & Bielke Peterson wanted all the Qld water to stay in Qld.
    The origin of our problems go a long way back.
    Soon as they separated the water entitlement from the land the problem has intensified to now having non farmers & overseas entities owning considerable amounts of our precious water.
    Then chuck in the buyback scandals & we now have one huge hellova mess.
    Water quality poor to zero,
    Health problems, families walking off their propertys.
    Loss of productivity & finally suicides.
    If this doesnt call for a very urgent Royal Commission I dont know how much worse it needs to get.!!!!

  6. Yes all this is true however it could be changed by making the owners of the water pay for storage and delivery charges. Then we will see who wants to hold large amounts of water.

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