Wounded Country: The Murray-Darling Basin – a contested history

The Murrayâ"Darling Basin â" a contested history
by Quentin Beresford
rrp $34.99

Publisher: NewSouth

Publication Date: September 01, 2021

ISBN: 9781742236780

Binding: Trade paperback

Availability: 3-5 Days

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The Murray–Darling Basin, Australia’s food bowl, is in crisis. For more than a century, the Basin has faced a series of environmental catastrophes: soil erosion, sand drifts and dust storms, salinity, algal blooms, the threat to native flora and fauna and the drying out of internationally recognised wetlands, along with steadily worsening droughts. Award-winning author Quentin Beresford delves into the history of the river system since European settlement, revealing Australia’s destructive relationship with the environment, and the willingness of politicians to ignore expert advice. The dispossession and marginalisation of local Indigenous people denied European settlers the cultural knowledge to manage the Basin sustainably. Instead, we’ve had waves of nation-building irrigation schemes and agricultural enterprises, all promoted by politicians more concerned with short-term profits than long-term sustainability. We are now at a point of reckoning. Only an end to the centuries-old development-at-all-costs approach, along with a recognition of Indigenous water rights, an acceptance of science and the adoption of sustainable farming practices, can save the once mighty Murray–Darling.