Can the High Court Save the River Murray
(2012) 29 Environment and Planning Law Journal 281
22 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2014
Date Written: March 2012
Since before Federation, South Australian politicians have claimed that their colony (and later State) has a legal right to a share of the water from the Murray River. Recently, South Australian Premiers have said that, should current negotiations fail to produce a satisfactory outcome for the State, they may challenge the Basin Plan in the High Court to assert South Australia’s legal claim to a share of the waters of the Murray. This article explores the role that the High Court has played in resolving disputes in times of crisis, and examines whether the High Court of Australia would have jurisdiction over an interstate water dispute. Finally, the article considers the legal basis for South Australia’s claim to a “fair share” of the waters of the Murray River.
Keywords: River Murray, Murray River, Murray-Darling, interstate water,transboundary water, interstate river, transboundary river, Basin Plan, water law, water rights
JEL Classification: K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation