Cubbie Station in South Queensland,  Australia's major interstate water diversion issue.

The  2700km long Darling River, which is a major component of Australia's huge Murray-Darling Basin,  begins its path to the Murray in SE Queensland, near the town of Warwick. Named the Condamine River it then runs NW, westerly, then turns SW and runs through Surat and St George, changing name to the Balonne then the Culgoa before crossing into New South Wales where the Culgoa joins the Darling near Bourke.  For map out of Encarta2000 Atlas of region and rivers from Brisbane to Cubbie Station.

Cubbie Station is a huge irrigation property growing cotton just             upstream of the NSW border.  Click on map for larger version
See links at page end for many other writings on the Cubbie Station issue.

Cubbie has expanded rapidly in the 1990's and has built huge storage dams with capacity of the order of 400 Giglitres (GL) or two thirds of Sydney annual water consumption.  The main area of Cubbie's cultivation shown here is 40 kms wide.
All three images from Google Earth.

Cubbie Station is visible from space on this satellite image of SE Australia extending from Adelaide to Brisbane.  The dark wedge just east of the "yellow C" is Cubbie Station and even their main dam is just visible near the gap in the "C".  Click on map for larger version.

In recent years  the scale of Cubbie's and others water diversions have become public issues explored in the media including the plight of  station owners in NSW who are experiencing greatly reduced peak river flows. 

Click for graphic of annual average Culgoa River heights reducing relative to catchment rainfall.  

Click for graphic of monthly max  Culgoa River  vs monthly catchment rain showing lower river heights in recent years.
River data from NSW Govt web site  Culgoa@Brenda is station 422015
Rain data from av of stations Surat, Condamine, Pittsworth all of course from the BoM.

See links at page end for many other writings on the Cubbie Station issue.

Human society has long learned that communities living and depending on rivers must have due respect  for those people downstream  and water law and international conventions have evolved over a few thousand years  to ensure that upstream communities do not take a disproportionate share of  water.

For decades now Australia has had an interstate body with representatives from Qld, NSW, Vic and SA, the Murray-Darling Basin Commission (MDBC) which in high sounding words is;  " ....required to equitably and efficiently manage and distribute the water resources of the River Murray in accordance with the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement....".  

One has to ask if the MDBC and the Queensland Government has been asleep at critical periods in recent  decades as  the clever operators behind Cubbie  built their  irrigation infrastructure to a capacity that clearly takes water on a scale that leaves downstream people in NSW with a much reduced and  inequitable share.
In a recent report by the MDBC Independent Audit Group (IAG)  the  IAG says that annual reductions in flows at the NSW border are now on a scale of 600 GL, about equal to Sydney's annual water consumption.  NSW people would like some of this 600GL per year returned to their rivers.

It is the opinion of this writer that the scale of Cubbie's development has been a colossal mistake due to slack Government processes over many years, at all levels, in Queensland, Commonwealth and the four State entity the MDBC.

The Qld. Govt. Condamine Archive site below  is replete with a blizzard of expert reports into this and that issue. Health of the river and the fish and other life, the Narran Lakes wetlands in NSW.  Community plans to use water resources. For "community" I think you read "Cubbie".  When reading any of this material you have to remember, none of all this expensive research and reporting would be required if they would just;  "RESTORE NSW TRADITIONAL RIVER FLOWS".

Murray-Darling Basin Commission, structure, some history and what it does.

Melaleuca is a media company operated by Phil Dickie and Susan Brown.  Phil Dickie, a Gold  Walkley Award winner for his 1988 book, "The road to Fitzgerald", exposing Qld crime and corruption.

Phil Dickie page on Cubbie history, quite detailed.

"A National Party that is anything but"
August 29, 2005  Article in Sydney Morning Herald by Paul Sheehan

Many Condamine - Balonne reports, much obfuscation, little mention of word "Cubbie"

Condamine Balonne draft resource operations plan

Canberra rules out Cubbie buyout

John Laws talks with John Anderson  on Cubbie

Discussion re salinity includes Cubbie

End for now