About the 2019 Citizens’ Inquiry

A special hearing of the Australian Peoples’ Tribunal for Community and Nature’s Rights

Australian Peoples' Tribunal logo

The Public Hearings for the Citizens’ Inquiry into the Health of the Darling River and Menindee Lakes have now concluded. We thank everyone who came out to speak to the Inquiry panel about their concerns and experiences of living in the Darling River system.

Read or download the full report from the 2019 Citizens’ Inquiry into the Health of the Barka / Darling River and Menindee Lakes.

What is the 2019 Citizens’ Inquiry into the Health of the Darling River and Menindee Lakes?

The Citizens’ Inquiry into the Health of the Darling River and Menindee Lakes will give communities a fair, unbiased forum to share their stories and evidence about what’s happening to the Darling River. They’ll also be able to make recommendations about what needs to happen to restore ecological and community wellbeing.

The Citizens’ Inquiry is an independent, non-government, civil society initiative, created and managed by community leaders, environmental and human rights lawyers and First Nations Elders, who are volunteering their time to support communities affected by the declining health of the Darling River and Menindee Lakes.

The Inquiry will run from 21 January to 30 April 2019, with public hearings being held from 19-29 March, in Mildura, Wentworth, Broken Hill, Menindee, Wilcannia, Bourke, Walgett and Brewarrina.

All statements, testimonies and evidence provided by people along the Darling River and Menindee Lakes, will be collated by the Citizens’ Inquiry and made publicly available on the Inquiry website.  The evidence will also be used to write a major report with recommendations based on community created solutions.  All Inquiry evidence and reports will be submitted to the Federal, NSW, Vic, Qld and SA Governments, international and national stakeholders and international and national media outlets.

Citizens' Inquiry poster

How can people participate in the Citizens’ Inquiry?

The 2019 Citizens’ Inquiry into the Health of the Barka / Darling River and Menindee Lakes is now closed and no further submissions are being accepted.

Terms of Reference

The Citizens’ Inquiry is asking participants to address any or all of the following Terms of Reference:

  • Are you reliant on the Darling River for drinking water, household water use, business use and/or farming?
  • What is the current state of the Darling where you live? (Describe what you see.)
  • What are the impacts of the Darling River on your personal and family life and your community or township?
  • What are the impacts of the Darling River on your personal business and your community economies?
  • What can you see as being the impacts of the zero-flows of the Darling River on the biodiversity and natural systems that make up the river and connected waterways, catchments and ecosystems?
  • In your view and understanding, what are the prime causes of the current state of the Darling River Basin?
  • In your view, what could or needs to be happening to restore the Darling River and its human and natural communities to a sustainable good health?

More Information about the Citizens’ Inquiry