When allegations emerge of water theft and the NSW government bending the rules to give big cotton plantations more than their fair share, the only appropriate response is an independent inquiry.
We need to get to the bottom of what has happened in NSW, the impacts on downstream users and our environment, if other states are bending the rules, and most importantly how we can prevent dodgy dealings from happening again.
Victoria and South Australia are calling for an independent inquiry. It’s time for Malcolm Turnbull to step up and make it happen.
Sign the petition to Prime Minister Turnbull asking him to deliver for our rivers.
In July 2017, ABC Four Corners aired explosive allegations that big industrial cotton plantations in NSW were engaged in illegal water use, tampering with meters and siphoning off billions of litres meant to flow downstream to Victoria’s environment.
But the most shocking part is that excessive water pumping by the cotton plantations is totally legal and within the rules set by the NSW government.
This isn’t just a problem for NSW. It affects Victoria too, as the map below explains.
Victorians were justifiably outraged. In the space of a week, 6000 people signed our petition to the Victorian Water Minister to find out what the impacts are, and to make sure these dodgy deals never happen again.
Thanks to everyone who signed – you made a big splash! In early August, Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville came out to support calls for a full independent inquiry into water management rules across the Murray-Darling.
Now we’re calling on the Turnbull government to support an independent inquiry too.
For details of why a full independent inquiry is needed, see our blog post and video.