Critique of DPIE-W’s review of WG river flows assessment

This paper provides a critique of DPIE-W’s review of the Wentworth Group report Assessment of river flows in the Murray-Darling Basin: Observed versus expected flows under the Basin Plan 2012-2019.

Key points

The Department of Primary Industries and Environment Water was requested by Justin Field MLC and Rose Jackson MLC to provide a brief analysis of a Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists report during the NSW Select Committee on Floodplain Harvesting in September 2021. In December 2021 the Department published the critique on their website.

In reviewing the 22 issues raised in the review, we found that:

  • eight were based on factually incorrect assumptions,
  • six were based on incorrect understanding of the method applied,
  • three were based on inappropriate cherry-picking,
  • three were issues already covered in greater detail in our report, and
  • two were based on misrepresenting our work

The Department’s review contains a series of factual errors. It is biased and contains misrepresentations of our work. We find it deeply worrisome that the Department has published work of this fallacious nature, especially when the analysis is at the request of NSW Parliamentarians.



Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists