the

Murray-Darling Warning - Behind the News

[Music]

for farmers fishermen and people who

love the river this was an extremely

distressing sight that words and

features totally destroyed by the impact

it has been a CPA demo now this is the

darling River at Menindee it's part of

the murray-darling system which

stretches all the way from Queensland

through New South Wales and the AC T

then down to Victoria and South

Australia but for a while now this part

of the darling River hasn't been flowing

properly and water levels are really low

that's caused an outbreak of blue-green

algae a type of bacteria that can take

oxygen out of the water and that's why

millions of fish have died the

government blames the drought for the

fish deaths and says that only rain

could make this situation better there's

a drought and this is one of the

consequences of drought there are many

and my focus on drought has not shifted

one inch but some people disagree this

is nothing to do with drought not a

man-made disaster this fish is a hundred

years old

it's never coming back this is for a

long time now there's been a lot of

controversy about the way water is

managed in the Murray Darling Basin you

see this area is really important to

agriculture in Australia around a third

of the country's food supply comes from

farms around here a lot of them a

irrigated with water taken from the

river after a big drought at the end of

last century the river was looking

really sick so in 2007 the federal

government created a special agency

called the Murray Darling Basin

Authority

it's job was to create a plan that would

make sure the water was shared fairly

between farmers right along the river

system and to make sure there was enough

left in to keep the rivers healthy but a

couple of years ago there were

accusations that it wasn't doing that

job properly a four corners

investigation found that some farmers in

New South Wales were taking water they

weren't supposed to some said that was

having a big affect downstream and

leaving some towns without enough

drinking water now the South Australian

government has done a big investigation

cord of Royal Commission into the Murray

Darling Basin Plan and the results have

a lot of people worried it down that

rivers were being mismanaged then many

decisions were being made because of

politics and not science

it even suggested that laws may have

been broken although the government says

nothing in the plan was illegal but the

prime minister says the government will

look into the situation and talk to

state governments and other people who

have been affected meanwhile authorities

are trying to save some of the fish

they're going to relocate some Murray

cod near Menindee to healthy awards but

many say a lot more needs to be done and

Australia needs a new plan to save the

river and everyone and everything that

depends on it to survive