ACP Resolution On The Murray-Darling River

The Murray-Darling River System, which runs through Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia is being bled dry by massive agri-businesses. The NSW Government and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority are actively supporting the wide-scale theft of water needed by family farmers, regional communities, indigenous people and the natural environment.

Although years of drought, caused by climate change, has affected the river, the Murray Darling River System, which runs through the First Nations of Gamilaraay, Yuwalaraay and Barkindji, has been largely sucked dry by corporate greed  in the North West Region of NSW, especially the Barwon River system. Mega industrial cotton farming, which is heavily water intensive, is environmentally and economically unjust and unprincipled in such an arid region. 

That residents are unable to access clean water while agri-business hoards water resources is a clear example of corporate interests overriding the basic needs of communities. The water crisis disproportionately affects many First Nations people as many live in the region. Public health is affected as people fall ill from drinking the water and develop rashes from showering. Meanwhile over a million fish were recently found dead on the banks of the Murray Darling River, destroying many people’s source of fresh food. These regions formerly thrived off of the sustainable fishing of the riveres. This was particularly the case for the First Nations population.

The towns of Walgett, Collarenebri and Menindee, for example, rely heavily on the river for drinking and general use, these towns are now relying on bottled water to cook and drink being donated by community advocacy groups like FIRE (Fighting In Resistance Equally) based in Sydney. Over 100,000 litres of water has been delivered to homes across Walgett, Collarenebri, Bourke and many more communities, with 200-300 water filters being installed in homes in Collarenebri for residents to be able to access clean water. The ACP respects the work of FIRE and other community advocacy groups in serving the needs of working people in affected regions.

By contrast we hold the NSW and Federal governments in contempt for their elevation of corporate interests over basic human needs. The major parties have demonstrated that their first priority is taking political donations from major cotton growers. 

The Australian Communist Party will continue to work in practical ways to alleviate the crisis faced by populations suffering the results of decades of mismanagement by governments. We are committed to removing the control of society’s resources from corporate interests and using them in a rational and sustainable way.