In 2006, Prime Minister John Howard and Water Minister Malcolm Turnbull put $10B on the table to fix the water problems in the Murray-Darling Basin. This included $6B for improved efficiency of water delivery (closing open channels, etc), $3B for water buy-backs from willing sellers, $0.5B for improved water forecasting by the Bureau of Meteorology, and $0.5 B for the establishment of the independent Murray-Darling Basin Authority.
Where has all the money gone? has it been spent wisely and effectively? Watch Four Corners on Monday night! They will be asking who has benefited from these billions. among their stories will be that of Kate McBride and her family, who lived through 9 months of no flow in the Lower Darling in 2015-16, while upstream irrigators had full allocations.
The draft Murray-Darling Basin Plan is under attack, and flows to the Lower Murray are not yet secure. All downstream communities, whether on the Darling River or the Murray River, need to be concerned and get involved in lobbying for a sound Murray-Darling Basin Plan.