The final report of the South Australian Royal Commission into the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, called out for attention the NSW Government’s changes to water rules in 2012, stating they “almost certainly contributed” to the ecological collapse in the Darling River and Menindee Lakes.
The report supports the well publicised views of Far West communities including towns people, growers and graziers working and living along the river.
Locals as well as scientists, other experts and Labor have been saying for six years now that the Liberal-Nationals’ mismanagement of water has exacerbated the effects of drought. We need to listen to those closest to and most knowledgeable about the problem to find a way forward.
We need to have a genuine, productive and rational discussion about water security for this region. We need to park politics at the door.
Labor has reasonably called for NSW’s own special commission of inquiry, an end to the decommissioning of the Mendinee Lakes and a re-instatement of the Cease to Pump rule which would help guard against water-gouging at times when the river system is most vulnerable.
This is no time for National Party political gaming. Urgent and positive work is required now to revive this vital river system and sustain the communities and other living creatures that live along side and depend on it.