Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Corruption in the water sector : Murray Darling Basin : Mike Taylor's resignation #agchatoz

The Twitterverse - select #agchatoz - is alive with the news that Mike Taylor has resigned from his position as Chair of the Murray Darling Basin Authority.  Mike was appointed in 2009. Certainly, he has not fulfilled his term.

Is this the result of lobbying by Nazi-style book burners in NSW?

If this is the case, then it is about time Tony Burke showed some strength.  The Murray Darling Basin does not belong to the National Irrigators Council nor its rabid NSW affiliate who aided and abetted in the ideological book burning.

The Murray Darling Basin is of concern to ALL Australians and if there is anything nefarious in the resignation of Mike Taylor then Bourke must intervene.  

It would be good if the actions of lobbyists and decision-makers on water for Australians could be viewed through the Global Corruption Report 2008: Corruption in the Water Sector produced by Transparency International.  

The report outlines how corruption or the precursors of corruption occur in the Water Resource Management sector. 

In the Executive Summary (page xxvii), under the heading, From diagnosis to action: lessons for fighting corruption in the water sector, there is an outline of how to ward off corruption in the water sector:

Lesson four: build pressure for water reform from above and from below
Ending corruption in the water sector requires breaking the interlocking interests and relationships that are perpetuating the problem.  This is a formidable challenge.  Leadership from the top is necessary to create political will and drive institutional reform.  Bottom-up approaches are equally important to curbing corruption, by adding checks and balances on those in power that include the monitoring of money flows or benchmarks of utility performance.

The Corruption in the Water Sector reports reminds us:
Water is an immensely political issue, wide open to manipulation, globally and nationally, and open to capture and conflict among communities and households. (Page 5)

When state capture occurs, the decision-making process and enforcement of water policies are manipulated to favour the interests of a few influential water users or service providers at the expense of the broader public.

Miss Eagle is a member of the broader public.  She is a water drinker and a food eater who takes an interest in what happens to water and food in this country.  She is also interested in the social, economic, and political history of this nation.  So if anyone thinks that debate on the Murray Darling Basin should be restricted to or only influenced by those who live in its confines, then I have news for you - and Minister Tony Burke.

I have attended two sessions of the MDBA community engagement meetings: the first in Shepparton, the second in Melbourne.  There are elements abroad who want their own way.  Send them to negotiate the MDB problems and we will get the Treaty of Versailles and its longlasting implications.  Certainly, these elements are not interested in Truth and Reconciliation.

Mike Taylor's Press Release
Download from below.

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