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To My Darling

My Dearest Darling,

From the first time that I sat beside you in 1974, I have always loved you. Your peacefulness, your beauty, your generosity, your power. Gradually I learnt your history and came to know the people who have loved you since time began. The more I got to know you, the more I loved you – through the good times and the bad, through the floods and the dry times. From Wiimpatja I learnt a little bit about the customs of caring for you and understanding you. These customs had ensured that you nourished people with water, food, shelter, warmth in winter, coolness in summer, celebrations, stories and meaning.

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Will the Basin Plan save the Darling River?

Bev Smiles, President, Inland Rivers Network

The Murray Darling Basin Plan, gazetted in November 2012, has a budget of $13 billion to fund a new direction for water management and water sharing in one of the world’s largest river basins. It is the most expensive natural resource management project in the nation.

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Will the Darling River Survive?

Terry Korn, President, Australian Floodplain Association

The health of the Darling River system is at a tipping point. Can the system survive the next round of negotiations over how it should be managed? Terry Korn, president of the Australian Floodplain Association discusses a major issue of concern which could seriously impact on recovery of water for the environment, floodplain graziers, Aboriginal culture and small communities downstream of Bourke.

The Australian government has committed almost $15 billion to the largest rural restructure program in Australia and expects to effect significant changes to water management in the Murray-Darling Basin without affecting the reliability of water supply to the irrigation industry. This is an admirable but unreal aspiration.