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The Vanishing River - 

Voices From The Darling

Preliminary Report on

Socioeconomic Impacts on Murray/Darling Basin

Go to -


The latest - Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists Report -

September 3, 2020

Thank you for coming to this website. 


This site reviels the very real and tragic human suffering

and the environmental vandalism now being endured in

Western NSW; it shares with the world, the voices of people

who actually live along the Darling River and

Menindee Lakes in Australia


Please make the time to hear about

the zero river-flows affecting 

peoples lives, environments and communities. 

Although engaging and compelling, 

the interviews below

are not entertainment,

they are serious. 

If you are interested

in better understanding

the crisis on the Darling and 

what is actually happening

with water in NSW;  

please read on

and engage with this website. 

Especially on page 4 of this site,

 the "Links" page.


An ever increasing and multiplying crime against Australian peoples and our Habitat has been occurring for fifteen years 

right under our noses. 

By draining Menindee Lakes

and keeping them dry;  

every day for nearly five years

one  billion litres of water vapour 

(that is one million tons of water per day)

has been stopped from reaching

the semi-arid deserts

of Western NSW

The result is

a drying and dying desert ecosystem

and the destabilization of soils and plants

that have held the region together

for tens of thousands of years. 

And, increasing dust storms! 

Some say this evaporation is wasted water, 

actually, it is a miracle in nature. 

This is a link to the

Download Page

where you can download the podcasts of these interviews to your own computer or device. 

"The Future"

The future is not some place we are going to,

it is a place we are creating. 

The paths to it are not found, they are made, 

and the activity of making them,

changes both the maker,

and the destination. 


Tony Smith

Darling River Man - Wentworth


"Jail time, to make people realise you can't mess with nature. 

A royal commission is the only way

to get to the bottom of it."

Tony Smith & Mark Merritt 15m49s - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00

Outback Mick & Nugget Caretakers - Menindee Caravan Park

Outback Mick and Nugget left Menindee be
"They're killing our river.
They're not only taking our water....
they're poisoning and
polluting it too."
Outback Mick & Mark Merritt 12m58s - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00

Kelly Norris

 Cafe Manager &

Youth Wrangler - Wilcannia 

"Let's fix this together, Australia. 
Its our country, our people.
Let's look after them."
Kelly Norris & Mark Merritt 12m23s - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00

Sarah Moles

Author - Warwick Qld.

Sarah Moles.jpg

"I'm watching this space with bated breath, because I know there is more to come, and I can't wait, for a very bright light, and a very, very forensic examination to be made of what exactally has gone on."

Sarah Moles & Mark Merritt 13m15s - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00
Sarah Moles - 2018 Peoples Tribunal 13m24s - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00

Cathryn Milne

Student and Environmentalist


Cathryn Milne 2.jpg
"We need a royal commission NOW and a grass roots human movement."
Cathryn Milne & Cath Eaglesham 14m47s - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00

Barry Stone

Employment Agent,

lives on Lake Menindee.  

Behind him, 15 kilometres of

dry lake-bed to the other side. 


"We out here are looking at

total destruction of

the outback of New South Wales, total destruction. 

And, I'd like to say

to the city fellas, we are

not bullshitting you here. 

We are living it !"

Barry Stone & Mark Merritt 33m57s - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00

Kevin Davey

Remembers the healthy

Darling of the old days

Menindee sign.jpg
"We're in trouble, we've got to wake up to ourselves"
"We used to get yabbies
as big as beer bottles."
Kevin Davey & Mark Merritt 12m9s - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00

Dr. Beryl Carmichael

Indigenous Elder - Menindee

Beryl Charmichael 3.jpg
"It's a rights violation
of all life forms"
Beryl Carmichael & Earthling Studios 12m35s - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00

Darriea Turley

Mayor of Broken Hill

Darrea Turley.jpg
"What we need to do is stay focused on the health of the Darling River."
Darriea Turley & Earthling Studios 23m25s - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00

Graham Clark

Barkindji Elder,

Lower Darling


"Whatever happened -

to the river ?

Whatever happened

to our land ?"

Graham Clarke & Cath Eaglesham 12m22s - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00

Rachael Strachan

Farmer - Tulney Pt. Station, Lower Darling

rachel strachan.jpg
"They are killing
the womb of the basin."
Rachael Strachan & Earthling Studios 20m10s - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00

Dr. Michelle Maloney

Australian Earth Laws Alliance

"Rights Of Nature and Earth Laws wants to shift the current dominant legal system so that it actually respects life".

Michelle Maloney AELA & Susie Peake 12m34s - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00
Michelle Maloney AELA & Mark Merritt 32m54s - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00

Sharon Corkery

Manager - Tilpa Pub

Tilpa Pub.jpg
"There's a lot of anger..there's just pure disgust and a lot of sadness - because it's their livelihoods."
Sharon Corkery & Cath Eaglesham 11m - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00

Trevor Mallon

Ex-Miner - Menindee

Trevor mallon.jpg

"I even give my dog rain water.  That's how bad the river is."  

Trevor Mallon & Earthling Studios 11m28s - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00

Bradley Hardy

Ngemba Educator, Brewarrina

Bradley hardy a.jpg
"The river is our community.  Without the river we have no community.  We need to come together to fix these things."
Bradley Hardy & Mark Merritt 12m21s - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00

Kate McBride 

Wool-Grower & Student

Tolarno Station - Lower Darling

Kate McBride.jpg

"I've watched in my lifetime,

an entire town being destroyed .."

- Menindee did have a population of over 1000, and up to 500 seasonal workers,

Up to 300 tourists per day 

signed the visitors book.

Today the population is just over 300. -

Kate McBride & Mark Merritt 13m11s - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00

Ross Files

Born in Menindee -1939

Ross Files.jpg

"When you destroy a river, you destroy

all the people on it."

Ross Files & Mark Merritt 21m12s - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00

Robert McBride 

Wool Grower - Farmer 

Darling River Guardian

Rob McBride.jpg

"The Prime Minister must run a Federal Royal Commission, if he doesn't then the Darling River system will collapse and die, as will The Murray."

Rob McBride & Mark Merritt 20m2s - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00

Jacqui Pasquale

Educator - Wentworth

"We don't want to live on a river that's got no water in it."
Jacqui PasQuale & Mark Merritt 12m18s - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00
Jacqui Pasquale & Cath Eaglesham 13m25s - Earthling Stusios
00:00 / 00:00

Cherry & Don Cullinan

Wentworth, in western NSW

where the Darling and

Murray Rivers should meet.

Photo - Boat, by a dry 

Lake Menindee, 

15 kilometres to the other side. 

Where is the water now ??? 

Menindee Lake, dry and roasting in the w

"If we could stop the greed with

these big Cubby Stations,

that's where the problem lies.

A Federal Royal Commission would be a lot better off - same as the banks, 

if they got into it, delved into it 

properly they would find

heaps of problems."

Don and Cherry Cullinan & Mark Merritt 18m11s - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00

Rights of Nature Legislature and legal protection over

life supporting ecosystems 

are needed if we are to realise a future on

our fragile Earth. 


The fish-kills at Menindee were not

about the drought,

they were and are about

the legal yet immoral 

over allocated extraction

of water by irrigators;

farm chemical runoff and chronic water and land pollution. 

The proof

is in Menindee weir

and Lake Wetherill 

right now. 


All governments seem to be deliberately ignoring the most probable cause of the problem -  the fertilisers and other farm chemical runoff that is coming from massive irrigation operations in the upper Darling catchment. 

The same scenario,

blue-green algae outbreaks

and fish-kills,   

are starting to be seen

along the Lachlan and Murrumbidgee Rivers too, where flood irrigated agriculture 


have been starting up

in recent years. 


The three interviews below

are related to the first

fish-kill of around ten thousand

fish on December 19th 2018. 

The people in them

had no idea that in just three weeks there would be

millions of rotting fish floating

in the centre of their town, Menindee.

Barry Stone, on 1st Menindee Fish-kill 19-12-18 - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00
Barry Helms on 1st Menindee fish-kill 19-12-18 - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00
Dr Beryl Carmichael on 1st Menindee fish-kill 19-12-18 - Earthling Studios
00:00 / 00:00
This fishkill was a local, regional, national, international
and global disaster. 
What kind of supreme bastardry has been dished out
over the past 20 years,
to the ecosystems and
people along the Darling,
Menindee & Broken Hill ? 
Is this about
firstly killing off
and then mining out 
The Menindee Lakes ? Some people say it is. 
How did this happen ?
Only the M.D.B.A. and a Federal Royal Commission will ever find out what has really been going on with "The Money" & "The Water" 
over the past 20 years. 
Please read all five pages
on this site,
then explore it
to find out more,
starting at the interviews
with people who live where there once was a river.
And please share this with
your family and friends.

To understand

what water does -

is to better understand

our world,

and what Life is.

- - - - - 


living thing on Earth,

has water in it, 

if not

it is not living. 

 - - - - -

Water is part of 

Earth's Habitat 

and does not

belong to people,

and definitely 

not to governments

or the banks! 

- - - - -

Australia's large dams

are largely full of

private property,


publicly shared 



- - - - - 

When the fires subside and the world

is filled with smouldering embers 

and things that have died in flames,

we will realise,

it was, and still is,

all about water. 

- - - - -

To have allowed capitalism and the banks to control the hydrodynamics of our Habitat in Australia will likely be recognised as one of mankind's greatest mistakes ever. 

- - - - - 

The delicate balance of all natural systems must be protected

by law,

to preserve 



and biodiversity

to balance, continue 

and flourish. 

- - - - - 

Trees and all plants

bring water and life

into our world.

Bare Earth and cleared lands bring 

dust death

and misery. 

The evaporation and groundwater 

absorption of  Menindee Lakes

when full, is said to be about 

350 gigalitres per year, or 1 gig./day. 


That is one billion litres, 

or one million tons of water per day,

evaporating and blowing across the 

Semi-arid deserts of Western NSW.

This evaporation and the corresponding  condensation has supported plants and all 

life in the west of New South Wales

for over 500 thousand years.


To stop the Darling River flowing, 

drain Menindee Lakes and prohibit this vital absorption, evaporation and condensation 

is environmental vandalism

of the highest order.


It is a classic case of 

industry driven "Ecocide". 

It is a crime against our future!

 If continued 

it's very likely to unleash an atmospheric, geologic and social nightmare,

that will affect every Australian

for many generations;

if not permanently.

- - - - - - 

The Menindee Lakes and a

flowing Darling River

soaks down into the Earth,

filling vital underground aquifers 

that carry water

throughout the region. 

This also seems to be totally overlooked

by irrigators, NSW Water

and the Murray Darling Basin Authority, 

as they continue 

to allow the retention and extraction

of every last drop of water

for northern-basin

irrigation operations. 

- - - - - - 

Eventually a federal royal commission

will find a way to understand 

the effects of water-trading

and floodplain harvesting 

on our land, our wildlife

and on our people. 

It is futile for governments

to resist this. 

The longer it takes

the federal government 

to make such a commission,

the closer we all get to civil disruption

unseen in Australia since


at the Eureka Stockade. 

And if you don't believe that,

go out there west of Bourke and Cobar and talk to the people

who have had their ONLY truly sustainable 

supply of water CUT OFF

by selfish, shortsighted

money driven fools. 

The behaviour of federal and state 

Departments of Agriculture 

and our banks

have much to answer for

in all of this. 

- - - - - -

Talk with your family and friends

about this. 

We Australians have now

lost control of our nation's fresh water. 

 It is being sold

and left to corporations,

banks  and extractive overseas investors

to determine where and when

the rivers in Australia will flow. 


And even more importantly, 

where the water in the rivers

will eventually go.

The result of just fifteen years

of water-trading, is shown here

behind this text. 

The Darling River,

a cradle of life for millenia,

has vanished 

into environmental and social


Please enguage with the content on all five pages of this site.

There is a virtual mine of information contained here. 

There are some things going terribly badly in Australia;

for the sake of our children

and the amazing wildlife on this Earth,

many things have got be changed. 

The fact is that state and federal government pollicies,

are right now actually killing people and spoiling Habitat

in Western NSW. 

This, cannot be denied or tolerated. 

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