The Greens have called on the Murray-Darling Basin Authority to reveal exactly what it knew and when regarding allegations of water theft in the Murray-Darling Basin, and have renewed calls for a royal commission.
A report in the Guardian Australia claims the authority knew of water theft allegations a year before the claims were broadcast by the ABC on its Four Corners program.
The authority has responded that it did not have sufficient evidence to take the allegations any further.
‘‘New revelations that the Murray-Darling Basin Authority knew about water theft and corruption for over a year raises serious questions about the competence and integrity of the national body,’’ South Australian Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
‘‘What did the authority know and when? These allegations are extremely serious and strengthen the call for a royal commission,’’ Senator Hanson-Young said.
‘‘Thirteen billion dollars of taxpayers’ money has been spent on this plan, and now we hear the authority in charge of overseeing the management and compliance have either ignored or covered up theft, corruption and the misuse of water.
‘‘This water was meant to be for the environment, and instead of going to the river it’s being stolen by big greedy irrigators.
‘‘I will interrogate the MDBA when they appear at Senate Estimates in October.’’