The extent of the Queensland Government’s parochial and profligate attitude to water management continues to attract criticism. Put simply, the Queenslanders couldn’t care less about the health of rivers either on their side of the border or beyond. Penny Wong can only wring her hands and sympathise with farmers downstream.

The Queenslanders continue to trot out the line that they take only 5% of water from the Murray-Darling. It’s literally correct -- that’s what they take out. It’s what they prevent from entering from run-off that is the key -- and that is much more. The CSIRO’s recent report on Water Availability in the Condamine-Balonne reveals a vast and unsustainably over-allocated system that sees over 50% of water extracted from the Balonne-Culgoa before it reaches NSW.