The authority that oversees Australia’s largest river system was accused of “maladministration”, “gross negligence” and ignoring climate science Thursday, as its waterways were carpeted with hundreds of thousands of dead fish.
A Royal Commission report into the Murray-Darling Basin Authority — which happened to coincide with a series of mass fish kills — was scathing in its assessment, accusing the body of illegality.
The Murray-Darling Basin is a river network sprawling for one million square kilometres (400,000 square miles), about twice the size of Spain.
It affects the livelihood of millions of people, but it had been over-exploited for years and seriously depleted by drought.
A South Australian inquest said the authority acted unlawfully in setting water levels while it “completely ignored” climate change projections.
“Politics rather than science ultimately drove the setting” of limits on the amount of water that could be taken out of the river, the report said.
The commission charged that the authority failed to be guided by “environmental priorities”, as required by law. “It is an unlawful approach. It is maladministration.”
An investigation by the national broadcaster the ABC in 2017 found billions of litres slated for environmental flows was being used to irrigate farmland in New South Wales.
A review of water management compliance in 2017 found inconsistent and poor enforcement in some states.
The report comes as debate rages over a series of mass fish kills over the past few weeks in rivers connected to the Murray-Darling.
Up to a million were killed last month — with scientists pointing to low water and oxygen levels as well as possibly toxic algae — in drought battered eastern Australia.
The royal commission recommended a complete overhaul of the water river management plan, with revised levels based on “the best available scientific knowledge”.
Trump’s ‘indefensible’ comments just made it ‘much much harder’ for GOP to win in 2020: Ex-RNC Chair
President Donald Trump's latest anti-Semitic trope is going to make it "much much harder" for Republicans to hold control of the White House in 2020, the former chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC) explained on MSNBC on Tuesday.
Michael Steele was interviewed by MSNBC's Chris Matthews on "Hardball."
"There’s a long-respected leader of what's called Jewish Republicans, Matt Brooks -- I've known him for a long time -- this guy has the job of helping get votes, Republican votes, in the community, which generally votes Democrats," Matthews noted. "What is he going to deal with this baby, this assault on religious identity and trying to claim you must vote your group?"
Washington Post editorial board calls Trump too cowardly to pass background checks in scathing editorial
The Washington Post just published a scathing editorial saying that President Donald Trump is far too cowardly to fight for gun safety laws or any kind of gun reform.
For a brief few days, while Trump was on vacation, he was willing to say that background checks needed to be tightened. But once he was on the phone with the National Rifle Association, everything changed. It isn't the first time. When Trump promised action after the Parkland, Florida massacre he said to the faces of parents who'd just lost their children. The next day he reneged. Now Americans are back at step one, where the next shooting is around the corner and even if police are on scene to take the shooter down in less than 60 seconds, people will still die.
Trump’s tumbling support among ‘the poorly educated’ may crush his 2020 prospects: report
When Donald Trump famously declared, “I love the poorly educated” during his 2016 campaign, it was obvious that he was taking a much more populist (or rather, pseudo-populist) approach than Republican presidential candidates were typically known for. And white males without college degrees continue to be a key part of the president’s base. But Washington Post columnist Aaron Blake, analyzing an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Monday, stresses that when Trump is up against a “generic 2020 Democrat,” he finds himself struggling with non-college educated white women.