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The scandals are too great! It’s time now to get the Basin Plan back on track.

It is the greatest publicly funded environmental rescue attempt in Australia’s history - $13 billion dollars to save the Murray Darling Basin. That sort of cash has attracted a lot of attention, and the big players have come to the Basin to gorge on the public purse, while ripping the lifeblood out of our rivers.

Years of alleged corruption, maladministration and mismanagement and our rivers and wetlands are on the verge of collapse. Native fish are suffocating by the millions. Towns and regions are drying up and dying. We need a strong Basin Plan more than ever before!

We need strong leadership now to get the Plan back on track – we call on all State, Territory and Federal Water Ministers in the Basin to:

1.       Stop the rorts – Initiate a gateway process to undertake rigorous independent assessment of all environmental water recovery projects before funding or works.

2.       Put a watchdog on the block - Establish an independent Federal Basin Plan Regulator to ensure compliance.

3.       Secure Water for First Nations – Address urgent threats to cultural values throughout the Basin by securing Strategic Indigenous Reserves and funding for cultural flows.

4.       Find out where we stand - Conduct a full independent audit of environmental water recovery to date, including water availability for provision of environmental flows.

5.       Revive our rivers – Restore buy backs to stop over extraction and ensure our rivers are resilient in the severest of droughts.

These measures are essential to restore public trust and confidence in the delivery of the Basin Plan. The health of our rivers and communities depend on it.