Murray Darling Basin Plan a Disaster for Environment and Communities

Systematic mismanagement, cover up and maladministration has undermined the proper implementation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan, a Senior Water Researcher at The Australia Institute says.

Richard Beasley, Senior Counsel to the Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission, delivered the final submission to the Royal Commission today, which summarized the evidence provided throughout the hearings.

“Mr Beasley’s evidence was a vindication for all of the critics who have been calling out the corrupted implementation of the Basin Plan.” says Maryanne Slattery, Senior Water Researcher at The Australia Institute.

“Our research has demonstrated systematic mismanagement, cover up and maladministration that has undermined the proper implementation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

“This is a clear example of good policy going disastrously wrong. From the construction of the Basin Plan through to nearly every aspect of its implementation, it has been fundamentally flawed.

“Implementing the Plan for political expediency, without transparency or accountability by the Murray Darling Basin Authority, has resulted in a fraud of a Basin Plan. It has benefited big irrigators, at the expense of everyone else, including Aboriginal people, regional communities, floodplain graziers, small irrigators and the environment.

“The Basin Plan was a once in a generation chance at reform to return our water use to sustainable levels while avoiding environmental collapse and the subsequent damage to our regional communities and economies. Its implementation has been a betrayal to all Australians, who deserve to be angry.”

Background

Richard Beasley, Senior Counsel to the Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission delivered the final submission to the Royal Commission today, which summarized the evidence provided throughout the hearings.  

Mr Beasley said that the “implementation of the Basin Plan was, at critical times, characterized by a lack of attention to the Water Act and a near total lack of transparency.

“The implementation of the Basin Plan has been marred by maladministration, which falls on both past and present executives of the Authority and its Board.”

He said that the Basin Plan is having a negative impact on the environment, and probably economies as well.

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