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Murray-Darling: Craig Knowles AUD$9B your taxes down plughole

The period since the Murray-Darling Basin Authority released its guide to the proposed plan, nearly two years ago, has been marked by sustained outrage from all quarters.

The Murray-Darling Debacle

The ongoing flooding in the Murray-Darling Basin, coming so soon after the decade-long 'Millennium Drought', is a stark reminder of the extreme variability of the Murray-Darling river system.

These events also illustrate why the proposed Basin Plan, predicated on allocating a fixed volume of water for irrigation and returning a fixed volume of water to the rivers, has been widely condemned as facile and insincere, and of failing to improve on the existing, discredited management regime.

The period since the Murray-Darling Basin Authority released its guide to the proposed plan, nearly two years ago, has been marked by sustained outrage from all quarters. The authority, under its current chair, political apparatchik Craig Knowles, has been accused of a lack of transparency and of scientific dishonesty.

Few if any stakeholder groups have willingly embraced the proposed Basin Plan, and those that have indicated that they may are tending to do so in the belief, as stated by Craig Knowles himself, that his plan is "better than no plan at all" ? hardly a ringing self-endorsement of a proposal which will direct the expenditure of over $9 billion of taxpayers funds.

It appears that both Mr Knowles and federal Water Minister Tony Burke have adjudged the proposed plan to be worthy precisely because it pleases no-one.

In the broader community, there is widespread frustration and "Basin Plan fatigue" as criticisms and counter-criticisms continue to saturate the debate and consensus seems hopelessly unattainable.

Many are now asking: as a nation, how have we arrived at this impasse?

ACCESS COMPLETE ARTICLE AT: http://www.fairwateruse.com.au/content/blogcategory/14/47/

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