Trouble on the Murray

Talk about bungled boat ramps, net buybacks, marine no-go zones, mining disasters etc here.
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Re: Trouble on the Murray

Post by NBN » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:09 pm

Release will prob continue until mid/end Feb.



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Re: Trouble on the Murray

Post by ronje » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:04 am

Presumably these guys are allowed to take water out up to the limit of their licence allocation.

In predicted drier times is their allocation reduced?

Then, if the water managers get their predictions wrong, they have to put some further amount back which is then called an environmental flow?

Is that how it works?

It appears that because the Fed Govt has no powers to regulate water, then each affected state is asked to sign up to an agreement to share. Qld, Nsw, Vic and SA.

The agreement is then managed by the Fed's Murray Darling Basin Authority (created by the Fed Govt to manage the agreement) which can only recommend courses of action to each state's water authority. In Qld (whose legislation controls the water allocations around Dirranbanbi - Cubbie) that's the Qld Dept of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.

With participating states' self interests, if ever there was recipe for failure it would be a scheme like this. States only join the agreement because the Fed Govt (via MDBA) is paying for it. States receive Fed money to regulate the scheme.

Uniform enforcement of the agreement is in the hands of each state with the Fed Govt only in a position to recommend things via the MDBA.

Any of the states can withdraw from such an agreement anytime they like and also ignore any MDBA recommendations any time they like. The only sanctions are a reduction in Fed money for administering that part of the scheme.

Recent investigations have shown that questionable (perhaps corrupt) management practices have been employed by 1 state in particular to its advantage.

In Govt circles, agreements like these are process driven. If the process is right then the outcome will be right.

In this case, there is an enourmous amount of process. However, the outcome is wrong (as clearly demonstrated). Somewhere in the process must be a flaw.

I'd suggest that the flaw is very simple to identify. Overallocation of water entitlements by both NSW and Qld.

That is the beauty of having a plan. Falure then comes as a surprise!

This is why the Feds have to pussy-foot around the Murray - Darling bunfight. If 1 state pulls out then the whole thing collapses.

Section 100 Australian Constitution

The Commonwealth shall not, by any law or regulation of trade or commerce, abridge the right of a State or of the residents therein to the reasonable use of the waters of rivers for conservation or irrigation.



I'd believe that there is only 1 way to stop this fiasco and that is by going back to the drawing board with the agreement. If the Feds/States/MDBA won't review the agreement then a high court constitution challenge about section 100 of the Aus Constitution is only way to force the issue.

The States might be reluctant to go down that path (loss of fed money) but with the increasing problems, an action by residents on the grounds of the Fed govt abridging their constitutional right to use water for irrigation or conservation purpose (or both). It'd probably be an action commenced in NSW with the outcomes so dramatic there.

A Royal commission will only investigate the process and make recommendations and is bound by its terms of reference. Hard to see Qld and NSW agreeing to it. SA certainly would.
Regards
Ronje

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Re: Trouble on the Murray

Post by NinjaFish » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:38 am


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Re: Trouble on the Murray

Post by Matt Flynn » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:48 am

Great explanation Ron. Easy to snipe from the sidelines, but a huge amount of money has been spent for zip, it has to be one of the great wastes of Australian taxpayers' money.

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Re: Trouble on the Murray

Post by NinjaFish » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:39 am


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Re: Trouble on the Murray

Post by NinjaFish » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:11 am

Opinion and reflection...
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Re: Trouble on the Murray

Post by NinjaFish » Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:17 pm

Could of got away with a stutter till he ran out of words :rofl:

I reckon Ronje encapsulated it well at the start and could teach a role or two to some ministers.

Opinion and the Commission...

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-18/ ... s/10726124

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Re: Trouble on the Murray

Post by Matt Flynn » Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:28 pm

Ron has explained it incredibly well.

Can't see the growers letting go of any water rights without lawsuits, could get expensive.

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Re: Trouble on the Murray

Post by ronje » Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:50 pm

The SA Govt has already activated a Royal Commission into the matter. Being on the bottom rung of the geographical ladder, SA has the most to lose.

https://www.mdbrc.sa.gov.au/resources/terms-reference

The Commission has to report to the SA parliament with its final report 1 Feb 2019 (2 weeks time).

I reckon that the SA Attorney General's Dept has been beavering away preparing for a High Court challenge by the SA Govt.

I see that the MDBA (Federal Govt entity) is claiming that trading in water rights within the plan falls under the trade and commerce powers of the Aus constitution which is a very tenuous connection to claim.

To me, that works even less for them as S 100 of the Aus Constitution is quite clear:

The Commonwealth shall not, by any law or regulation of trade or commerce, abridge the right of a State or of the residents therein to the reasonable use of the waters of rivers for conservation or irrigation.

Whichever way you look at this mess (legally, operationally and conservationally) its still a mess.
Regards
Ronje


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Re: Trouble on the Murray

Post by NinjaFish » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:07 am

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Re: Trouble on the Murray

Post by NinjaFish » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:32 pm

Matt Flynn wrote:Perhaps they will argue that unreasonable use has been occuring?
Yep. It's now... ready,.... set,....

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-31/ ... s/10766106

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Re: Trouble on the Murray

Post by ronje » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:08 pm

I don't doubt that unreasonable use has been occurring ( by somebody) but the Feds have no authority over that (only the states have the authority).

The bottom line of the Constitution is that the Fed Govt cannot abridge (diminish) the rights of residents in respect of reasonable use of the water for irrigation or environmental purposes.

The States handed their rights over to the Feds by agreeing to the plan and agreeing enforce the provisions of the plan.

But the residents in those states didn't hand over their rights. That would require a change to the Constitution via a referendum. That hasn't happened so the residents' rights remain. This whole ratbag scheme was built on a foundation of sand.

The Constitution is quite specific about whose rights cannot be abridged. The State OR the residents therein (not simply people who live along the basin waterways). NONE of the residents can have their rights abridged by a a federal regulation of trade or commerce and as the MDBA says "the MDB plan is about trading water rights...trade and commerce".

In addition, the Fed Govt banned Fed public servants from appearing before the SA royal commission.

This has got a long long way to go yet.
Regards
Ronje

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