Release: $1.5 Billion Murray-Darling Water Buy-Up Betrays Taxpayers 

Release: $1.5 Billion Murray-Darling Water Buy-Up Betrays Taxpayers 

31 July 2019

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA), a 75,000+ member grassroots advocacy group representing the nation’s taxpayers, today condemned the misuse of $1.5 billion in taxpayers’ funds to purchase 450GL of water from farmers in the Murray Darling Basin. The move was announced by Federal Water Minister David Littleproud and comes on top of billions already spent to buy up 2,750GL for the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder.

“This harebrained plan is a waste of hardworking taxpayers’ money that will only exacerbate the water shortages and high water prices which continue to economically and culturally devastate regional Australia.” Said Satya Marar, ATA Director of Policy.

“We are also deeply concerned that the entire $13 billion Murray Darling Basin Plan may be based on bad science, as revealed by Professor Peter Gell in his peer-reviewed report published by the CSIRO: “Watching the tide roll away – contested interpretations of the nature of the Lower Lakes of the Murray Darling Basin.”

“We agree with Federal Nationals Party Whip Damian Drum, who noted on Sky News the Murray Darling Basin Authority’s erroneous idea that the lower lakes of Alexandrina and Albert have always been fresh. It is unconscionable that billions of taxpayers’ dollars might have been spent on a plan based on junk science, and that this plan is still being implemented even after its flawed foundations have been revealed, is doubly disturbing.

“We therefore call for an immediate end to any spending of taxpayer's money in pursuit of this plan until such time as the plan has been fully reconsidered and brought into line with the best available science, and are proud to be one of the many advocacy groups who have joined environmentalists and politicians in calling for a royal commission into the Murray Darling Basin plan.”

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Brian Marlow