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”.
Matt Gaetz forgot which network he was on: Surprised CNN anchor said ‘I’ve never been called Sean Hannity’
Rep. Matt Gaetz seemed to confuse cable news networks during a Thursday appearance
Gaetz was interviewed by CNN's Chris Cuomo, who aggressively challenged Gaetz on the facts as the Florida Republican attempted to defend President Donald Trump.
Despite the fact Cuomo's interview was nothing like the puff segments Gaetz is used to on Fox, the congressman seemed confused by the end.
"Congressman, you are always welcome, wherever I am, at nine or eleven, whenever," Cuomo said.
"Thanks Sean," Gaetz replied.
"Did you just call me Sean?" Cuomo asked. "Did you just call me Sean?"
California lawmaker who chaired Republican Assembly caucus leaving GOP — to become an independent: report
On Thursday, the Sacramento Bee reported that California Assemblyman Chad Mayes, the former Assembly Minority Leader, is leaving the Republican Party and registering as No Party Preference.
"Instead of focusing on solutions for the big problems that we've got, we focused on winning elections," said Mayes in his announcement. "For me, I'm at the point in my life where I'm done with gamesmanship."
Mayes, a controversial figure who was implicated in an affair with a fellow public official, represents Yucca Valley. He is the second Republican Assemblyman this year to leave the party, after Brian Maienschein of San Diego, who Maienschein of San Diego.
‘Quantum physics generator’ incident in Ohio results in evacuation — hazmat found no radiation
Authorities in Columbus, Ohio evacuated dozens of homes after a man called 911 to report being burned by a
"Firefighters say nothing threatening was found in a northwest Columbus garage," WCMH-TV reported. "According to firefighters, a man called and reported that he received ‘RF burns’ while building some sort of ‘quantum physics generator’ in a garage. The man used words like ‘particle accelerator,’ ‘alpha rays,’ and ‘radiation’ while describing how he was burned."