Menindee Darling River Murray-Darling
Dead trees in Menindee Lakes (Image: AAP/Dean Lewins)

The report into the Murray-Darling, and the near destruction thereof -- remember that? The killing of our largest river system? So last week -- made for interesting if scarifying reading. The rot may have started with the Howard years, and the corresponding accommodation of National Party demands, but it was really accelerated in the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison period.

The Nationals’ determination to gouge everything they could for northern agribusiness, and Abbott’s cracked belief that basic attention to nature as a complex system is somehow pagan, combined to create a pure disaster. This was the nihilism of capitalism and the right in its purest form. As one reads the detail of how a system put in place to guard an essential feature of life on this continent was gleefully subverted, undermined and trashed, one asks: how can I not have noticed this going on? We knew that the wrecking crew had taken power; why did we not pay more attention?