This submission by a resident of the Murray Darling Basin district highlights the issue of foreign entities, particularly China, buying Australian water entitlements and gaining control over agricultural output in the country’s food bowl. The submission was made in response to the Senate holding an inquiry into the Water Amendment (Restoring Our Rivers) Bill 2023, which proposes amendments to the Water Act and the Basin Plan.
The Coalition Backbench Committee on Agriculture, consisting of Sussan Ley, Senator Perin Davey, Senator Matt Canavan, Sam Birrell MP, and Rowan Ramsay MP, held a “Listening Tour” in Griffith on 4th October 2023 regarding the water issue. However, there is criticism that this tour was merely a pretense of listening to constituents, as the committee has resolved to only have public hearings in Canberra.
Concerns are raised about the influence of international conventions and agreements on Australia’s water management. The Water Act 2007 references various international instruments such as the RAMSAR convention, Biodiversity Convention, migratory bird conventions, and the Climate Change Convention. It also states that any other international convention relevant to the use and management of the Basin Water resources is applicable. This implies that future, as yet unsigned conventions can impact Australia’s water resources without public scrutiny.
The submission argues that this reliance on international agreements undermines Australian law pertaining to water and agreements with the Murray Darling Basin Authority, states, and the Commonwealth. The invocation of international law can override existing agreements and defer to conventions or agreements signed under international law.
Furthermore, the submission raises concerns about the involvement of the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank in water policy. The World Bank has established various bodies dealing with water, and the UN has been driving the agenda on water for many years. There is suspicion that these global organizations, along with large financial institutions, are engaging in a form of insider trading by investing in water resources. This has implications for the privatization and control of utilities and water, often under the guise of deregulation and trade liberalization.
The submission also highlights the potential impact of the VOICE movement, which advocates for indigenous rights and representation. There are concerns that the UN is meddling in this movement to gain control over water resources and increase water prices. The submission speculates that the VOICE’s success could lead to additional fees for using beaches, national parks, and waterways, along with royalties based on water consumption. The funding for the VOICE would likely come from increased land and water taxes, with the general public bearing the brunt of these costs. Exclusive sovereignty would be given to indigenous individuals or groups over land and waters.
In addition, the submission raises concerns about the loss of land titles due to digitization and the potential for the UN to gain control through treaties. The emergence of central bank digital currencies and the elimination of cash further raises fears about loss of purchasing power and control over personal finances. These issues align with the World Economic Forum’s agenda of implementing a Great Reset and promoting the idea of individuals owning nothing.
The submission concludes by highlighting the urgency of addressing these concerns and preventing the implementation of world government and control over water resources. It calls for greater representation of constituents in decision-making processes and a reevaluation of Australia’s engagement with international agreements.
In summary, this submission underscores the issue of foreign entities controlling Australian water entitlements and raises questions about the influence of international conventions and organizations on water policy. It warns of the potential consequences for farmers, industries, and the general public, and advocates for greater transparency and accountability in water management.