The Murray Darling Basin Authority released a ‘Guide to the Proposed Basin Plan’ yesterday which had been touted as an independent scientific report. My impression of the document, however, is that it is an audacious grab for more water based on popular myths.
Amongst the many unsubstantiated claims in the Guide, is mention of an 80 percent decline in the abundance of waterbirds across the Basin since 1983.
I am a little familiar with numbers of water birds in the Macquarie Marshes. According to various public statements by expert Richard Kingsford numbers have also been in dramatic decline here, but his actual data, only available from 1985 through to 2001, indicates an increase.