Can’t Do as Government Says: MDB Chief Quits

“MURRAY Darling Basin Authority Chairman Mike Taylor has announced his sudden intention to step down from the chairman’s role at the end of January. 

“It is understood Mr Taylor had a difference of opinion with the Federal Government over interpretation of the Water Act and its ability to properly consider the social and economic impacts of proposed water cuts, in the Authority’s final plan.

“A statement issued by the MDBA today said Mr Taylor had written to Federal Water Minister Tony Burke regarding the Basin Plan and the chairman’s role.

“Mr Taylor said balancing the requirements of the Water Act 2007 against the potential social and economic impact on communities would be a “significant challenge”.

“The Guide was developed with full regard to the requirements of the Water Act, and in close consultation with the Australian Government Solicitor,” he said.

“However, the authority has sought, and obtained, further confirmation that it cannot compromise the minimum level of water required to restore the system’s environment on social or economic grounds.

“Under the Water Act the further steps the Authority is able to take over the next 12 months in developing the Proposed Basin Plan, and the Basin Plan itself, will necessarily mirror and refine what has been done by the Authority to date…

from Mike Taylor quits MDBA, BY COLIN BETTLES
07 Dec, 2010 08:56 AM


9 Responses to Can’t Do as Government Says: MDB Chief Quits

  1. jennifer December 7, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has vowed to push ahead with a plan for the Murray-Darling Basin, despite the shock resignation of basin authority boss Michael Taylor.
    Mr Taylor has announced he will leave his post at the end of January, 2011, saying the Murray-Darling Basin Authority was neither empowered nor equipped to undertake the whole task of designing a sustainable plan for the river system.
    “A successful plan would require both the Commonwealth and states to work together,” he said in his letter of resignation to Water Minister Tony Burke today.
    Ms Gillard said a replacement authority head would be appointed and the basin reform program would stay on track.
    “We’ve got one chance to get water reform right,” she said in Canberra.
    “The Government will do what is necessary to implement the Murray-Darling Basin plan.”

    Read more:

    soon we will have no electricity or food.

  2. jennifer December 7, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    Media Release
    7th December 2010
    Fair Water Use (Australia)
    Resignation of MDBA Chair: that left unsaid speaks volumes

    The resignation of MDBA Chair, Michael Taylor, is a clear symptom of the utter frustration permeating the Authority as a result of attempts by vested interests to sabotage the Basin Plan and an apparent unwillingness of the Commonwealth to allow the Authority to perform its vital task free from political pressures.

    Mr Taylor also indicates that the Authority has received further legal advice that it is unable alter its recommendations with respect to the volumes of water required to restore the environment of the Murray-Darling River system. That should come as no surprise, as the stated role of the MDBA is to manage the Basin’s water resources in the national interest, not in such a way as to placate those who would prefer to continue business as usual.

    National coordinator of Fair Water Use, Dr Ian Douglas, responded to the news of Mr Taylor’s resignation saying, “The Commonwealth and particularly Minister Burke should be roundly criticised for attempting to add responsibility for economic and social management of the Basin to the brief of the Authority”.

    He added, “The stunts of renegade groups of irrigators, including the burning of the Guide and the establishment of the faux MDBA website, are now seen for what they are: knee-jerk attempts to discredit the messenger, stemming from an unwillingness to accept the long-term implications of an over-exploited and degraded river system”.

    As intimated by Mr Taylor, irrespective of the content of the final Basin Plan produced by the Authority, the survival of the river system will hinge on whether the Commonwealth and Basin state governments are genuine in their stated desire to restore the nation’s most vital rivers, or whether, as now appears all-too-likely, they will squib the issue for short term electoral gain.

  3. Geoff Brown December 7, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    See, Jennifer, you don’t even have to hoild debates with them and they fall over.

  4. spangled drongo December 7, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    “While I strongly support that outcome, I believe it is time for the Government to reconsider the next phase.”


    Maybe you know what’s going on here. I don’t. You would think that someone would come right out and say that as this scheme has been designed during, around and for, serious drought conditions [though still rather badly] and that Gaia has shown that future rainfall is now possible, some extra scrutiny and consideration may be necessary to get the balance a little more er, balanced.

  5. jennifer December 7, 2010 at 2:36 pm #


    Has Taylor spat the dummy because he doesn’t have the support of Minister Burke to continue along current lines which he claims are in accordance with the Act?

    So he says, I’ll be off and you do it your way.

    Meanwhile Prime Minister Gillard responds immediately with comment that the reform process must remain on track. Is she overridding her Minister Burke who has indicated he wanted reform to the reform?

    Meanwhile the farm lobby may be cheering because they have been complaining loudly about Taylor and the ACt.

    But in my opinion, until the farm lobby gets its minds around the environmental issues, for example the wilful degradation of Lake Albert during the recent drought by the SA government to spite upstream irrigators, the demise of Australian agriculture appears inevitable.

  6. el gordo December 7, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

    Good news, but who will replace him? A prudent government would not push ahead in the face of floods, but Gillard thinks differently.

    An outsider should replace Taylor, hopefully someone with a hydrology degree and no gravy on fingers.

  7. el gordo December 7, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    A few years ago the farm lobby may have given some thought to environmental issues, but now there is a lot of antagonism about.

    Did the Murray flood of 1956 overflow the barrages? I can only find anecdotal evidence.

  8. John Sayers December 9, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    Take the global warming – climate change, myth out this argument and it’s very simple.

    Clearly the MDB is better off for the physical changes we created, weirs dams etc, you no longer see families playing cricket on the river bed of the Murray River as they did in 1914.

    It’s all being blown out of proportion because of extreme green agendas.

  9. val majkus December 9, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

    the most important story today in my view is this one and I hope Jennifer will do a special article on it–Challenge-UN-IPCC–Gore
    a couple of quotes
    More than 1000 dissenting scientists (updates previous 700 scientist report) from around the globe have now challenged man-made global warming claims made by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and former Vice President Al Gore. This new 2010 320-page Climate Depot Special Report — updated from 2007′s groundbreaking U.S. Senate Report of over 400 scientists who voiced skepticism about the so-called global warming “consensus” — features the skeptical voices of over 1000 international scientists, including many current and former UN IPCC scientists, who have now turned against the UN IPCC. This updated 2010 report includes a dramatic increase of over 300 additional (and growing) scientists and climate researchers since the last update in March 2009. This report’s release coincides with the 2010 UN global warming summit being held in Cancun.
    Background: Only 52 Scientists Participated in UN IPCC Summary

    The notion of “hundreds” or “thousands” of UN scientists agreeing to a scientific statement does not hold up to scrutiny. (See report debunking “consensus” LINK) Recent research by Australian climate data analyst John McLean revealed that the IPCC’s peer-review process for the Summary for Policymakers leaves much to be desired. (LINK) (LINK) (LINK) & (LINK) (Note: The 52 scientists who participated in the 2007 IPCC Summary for Policymakers had to adhere to the wishes of the UN political leaders and delegates in a process described as more closely resembling a political party’s convention platform battle, not a scientific process – LINK)

    Proponents of man-made global warming like to note how the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the American Meteorological Society (AMS) have issued statements endorsing the so-called “consensus” view that man is driving global warming. But both the NAS and AMS never allowed member scientists to directly vote on these climate statements. Essentially, only two dozen or so members on the governing boards of these institutions produced the “consensus” statements. This report gives a voice to the rank-and-file scientists who were shut out of the process. (LINK)

    New Zealand has illustrious participants as does Australia and thanks to all those who stood up against the ‘status quo’ from those of us like me who are not scientists

    So where’s the balance now?

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