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Save the Basin

Key scientists have walked away from the government's Murray Darling Basin Authority process in protest.

Right now the Murray Darling Basin Authority are in the final stages of recommending how to deal with the water crisis and scientists are telling us the Authority is preparing to announce environmental water flows that are so low they won't save our nation's food bowl. Even more worryingly, the Authority has cancelled all independent scientific review of the government's Murray Darling plan in an attempt to cover up their lack of environmental credibility.

The Wentworth Group of Scientists have just resigned from the process in protest - and they need public support. That's where we can make a difference. In a few weeks the Basin Authority will announce their plan. Sign the petition to the right now to show your support for the

A statement provided to GetUp by the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists

In October 2010 the Murray Darling-Basin Authority (MDBA) in its Guide to the Proposed Basin Plan stated that reducing water diversions in the Murray-Darling Basin by 3,856 gigalitres would give a "high uncertainty" of achieving the objectives of the Water Act 2007 and 6,983 gigalitres would give a "low uncertainty". These numbers represented the culmination of decades of research carried out across the Basin and broadly aligned with the findings of scientists across the Basin. This work was internationally peer reviewed.

The MDBA is now proposing a startling new volume to achieve the objectives of the Water Act. It is 1,000 gigalitres below what had previously been the "high uncertainty" value. Is this really possible?

This is a huge drop in such a short period of time. It is unclear what new knowledge could make this possible. It is puzzling that such a significant piece of knowledge was not identified in the two years of work that was undertaken by the Authority in the development of the Guide or over the past decades by scientists working across the Basin. Independent review is critical to good science. In the case of such a dramatic change independent review is essential. A robust independent review is not happening.

The Federal Government is spending over $8.9 billion on water reform. The Australian taxpayer must know what they are getting for their money and that they are going to get a healthy working river system for $8.9 billion.

No government should spend $8.9 billion based on mere opinion.

Tim Stubbs Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists


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To Environment and Water Minister Tony Burke,

The Murray Darling Basin has been sucked dry by decades of over extraction. Despite recent rain and floods the Murray Darling Basin is on the brink of ecosystem collapse. Already over 90% of the floodplain wetlands have been destroyed along with native fish and bird populations.

The Basin is the food bowl of Australia. It must be managed using the best available science. We urge you to commit to ensuring a scientific review is carried out of the Murray Darling Basin plan and that the plan is based on the best available science.

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