Calls for a review in the Murray-Darling Basin Authority

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has called for a review of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) in the wake of further claims of misuse of water in the River Murray system.

River communities are crying out for the Government and the MDBA to listen to their long-held concerns, and act.

Sarah Hanson-Young

As a Murray-Darling spokesperson, Ms Hanson-Young vowed to write to the Auditor-General requesting the review, while the MDBA welcomed the opportunity to investigate its compliance arrangements.

She said it was time to shine a light on where the Plan was being exploited.

“How many more reports of water misuse and theft need to come out before proper action is taken? I’ll be writing to the Auditor-General requesting a review of the Murray Darling Basin Authority.

“River communities are crying out for the Government and the Murray Darling Basin Authority to listen to their long-held concerns, and act. Those living in the Basin known all too well that if their neighbour’s doing the wrong thing, there will be others doing the wrong thing elsewhere,” she said.

Ms Hanson-Young said decisive action was essential.

“Unfortunately we have a Minister who can’t make decisions because of his citizenship bungle,” she said.

An MDBA spokesperson told The Standard the review would be an opportunity to look at current rules and laws, and its governance arrangements. 

“The MDBA takes all allegations of water theft seriously and expects that all such matters will be investigated by the relevant state regulator,” they said.

“It is clearly important to have effective compliance arrangements such that water users are only taking what they are entitled to.”

At the end of July, the Prime Minister called on the MDBA to conduct a Basin-wide Compliance Review.

The MDBA review will be guided by a panel of independent experts and the findings will be presented to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) by December 15, 2017.