Opinion – Murray Darling debacle shows the failure of federalism

The current standoff over water allocations in the Murray Darlin Basin is as good an example as you could ever find of how Australia’s federal system is broken. The Murray Darling Basin Plan was supposed to be the epitome of how Australia’s states and territories could work with each other and the Federal Government for […]

New report supports water return to lower Murray Darling

Opponents of releasing more water into the Murray Darling river system for environmental purposes have suffered a defeat. A new independent report says the plan to add 450 gigalitres (GL) annually to the 2750 GL currently released will be good for the environment and have overall socioeconomic benefits. The 300 page report was commissioned by […]

SA goes it alone on Murray-Darling Royal Commission

South Australia will launch its own Royal Commission into the allocation of water under the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement. The moves follows a number of damning reports on allegations of water theft and mismanagement, and what the South Australian Government regards as a coverup by the Federal and NSW Government. The issue has been brewing for […]

Five years on, Murray Darling plan ‘eroded’

It is five years ago today (22 November) since the announcement of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. But not everybody is happy. The Basin Plan is the latest attempt to reconcile the many demands on water from the extensive river system. It was agreed to at the time by the six governments with jurisdiction over the […]

Chief water bureaucrat resigns

In a press statement released on Tuesday, Mr Taylor announced that he had written to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Tony Burke, the problematic development of the Muray-Darling Basin Plan. Mr Taylor said balancing social and economic impacts of the plan against the Water Act 2007 posed a “significant challenge”. However, […]

MDBA to reassess local impacts of Basin plan

By Angela Dorizas The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has announced that it will undertake further analysis of the social and economic impacts of proposed water cuts on local communities. MDBA chair, Michael Taylor, said the decision to conduct an expanded study was in response to recent community backlash against the scale of cuts. “Over the […]

Saving the Coorong

Image: Murray Darling Basin Authority. By Angela Dorizas The Coorong District in South Australia was made famous in the 1976 Australian film Storm Boy, but the once idyllic coastal setting is on the verge of collapse. Reduced flows from the Murray-Darling river system, combined with drought and hypersalinity, has resulted in an ecological disaster. The South […]

Wong announces $6m for Basin communities

Local governments in the Murray Darling Basin will receive planning grants to help them prepare their communities for a future with less water, the  Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water, Senator Penny Wong, has announced. Councils will receive second round funding totalling $6 million from the planning component of the $200 million Strengthening Basin Communities […]

Productivity Commission reports on water buybacks

The Productivity Commission has raised concerns about aspects of the design and sequencing of the Australian Government’s Murray-Darling Basin plan, noting problems in the commencement of buybacks before ratification of the plan. The Commission found that acquiring entitlements directly in active markets is likely to be more efficient that the current tender approach. Commissioner Neil Byron […]

Garrett announces tenders for Murray-Darling basin

By Staff Writer A total of $270 million in new water purchasing initiatives in the Murray-Darling Basin has been announced today by the Acting Minister for Water, Peter Garrett. A series of three short tenders of $90 million each will be conducted in the southern connected River Murray system in the first half of 2010. […]

NSW councils dive into water debate

By Angela Dorizas Councils across New South Wales have welcomed the extension of the Water Loss Management Program until June 2011. A joint initiative of the Local Government and Shires Associations (LGSA) and the NSW Water Directorate, the program includes Commonwealth funding of $7.3m from the Water Smart Australia program, part of the Government’s $12.9 […]

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