Michelle Grattan discusses the political week that was with Professor Paddy Nixon.
Morrison and Joyce have negotiated the terms of their partnership. In the open, the restored leader let the Nationals run riot, in a way we haven’t seen for a long time, writes Michelle Grattan
This year marks a decade since the Millennium Drought ended. The Murray-Darling Basin has endured a lot since, but two species are making an impressive comeback.
The government has chosen a route not backed by evidence, and which will deliver a bad deal to taxpayers and the environment.
Murray Darling Junction, Wentworth NSW.
Marking farms more water-efficient pushes up prices twice as much as buying water back.
Researchers have collated measurements made by satellites, field sensors and people, to get a picture of the nature’s recovery while we’ve been in lockdown.
Across the NSW portion of the Murray-Darling Basin, Aboriginal people make up almost 10% of the population. Yet they hold a mere 0.2% of all available surface water.
China believed the Murray Darling Basin Plan was about more than the environment. It wanted to know how much more.
The number of visitors to the restored wetlands is increasing each year, as is the wildlife.
Fish must be released into good quality water, with suitable habitat and lots of food. These conditions have been quite rare in Murray Darling rivers in recent years.
The findings point to how Australia’s most important river system might be altered by future sea level rise.
Over the next 50 years, the arid zone – containing the areas of true desert – is projected to expand well into the Murray-Darling Basin and almost entirely envelope the Lake Eyre Basin.
Dean Lewins/ AAP
There’s little transparency or clarity about how much water states are allocated. This failure in communication and leadership across such a vital system must change.
Knee-jerk responses to water insecurity won’t fix the basin. The harder and longer path is delivering real water reform, including transparent water planning enshrined in law.
Fish, frogs, turtles and platypus at major risk of extinction following the bushfires. So why aren’t they getting much attention?
Recent rains have not eliminated the threat of a repeat of last summer’s mass fish deaths.
After heavy rainfall, debris could wash into our waterways and threaten fish, water bugs, and other aquatic species.
Fire debris flowing into Murray-Darling Basin will exacerbate the risk of fish and other aquatic life dying en masse in a repeat of the shocking fish kills of last summer.
The Adelaide Desalination Plant will be cranked up to full capacity to free up 100 gigalitres of water from the River Murray for use by farmers.
The Australian government is effectively spending A$95 million so it can sell water to farmers for A$10 million.
AAP Image/Dean Lewins
Buybacks by open tenders were a successful, cost-effective way of returning water to the Murray-Darling Basin. They should never have been abandoned.
Endangered species are living happily in rice fields.
Bitterns in Rice/Matt Herring
The endangered Australasian bittern offers a way past the ‘farmers vs environmentalist’ debate in the Murray-Darling basin.