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The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of Australians in 2018 and in 2019 about their views towards issues surrounding the health and management of the Murray Darling Basin (MDB).

Key Findings:

  • A majority of Australians (55%) now consider the health of the Murray Darling Basin poor or very poor, up 18 percentage points since 2018 (37%).
  • Over a third (37%) said the health of the river system is very poor – more than triple than in 2018 (11%).
  • Almost half (48%) of Australians now consider the standard of river management by government agencies to be poor or very poor, compared to 33% in 2018.

“People in regional communities have been living day-to-day with the mismanagement of the Basin Plan and know first-hand just how badly it is being implemented,” said Maryanne Slattery, senior water researcher at the Australia Institute.

“This research shows that after the Murray Darling Fish Kill, the poor impression of the MDB Management has soared.  The majority of Australians are now aware that the health and management of the Basin is in a terrible state."

“This is a clear message from voters that they are unimpressed with the poor implementation of the Basin Plan: it is failing farmers, communities and the environment.”

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