An Australian singer has called for a Royal Commission into the Murray Darling river following the mass of fish deaths at Menindee Lakes.
Earlier this month, it was reported that up to a million fish died in the river at Menindee in western NSW.
The fish deaths sparked an investigation by the NSW Department of Primary Industries and WaterNSW, reported the Australian Associated Press.
DPI told AAP that the ongoing dry conditions and a recent big temperature drop could have caused the large fish kill.
READ MORE: NSW mass fish deaths a 'man-made disaster'
But University of NSW environmental science Professor Richard Kingsford argued it's due to the diversion of water for irrigation and extractions from the Menindee Lakes.
Singer John Paul Young told the Western Magazine he is sure the fish death has been caused by irrigators greed.
Mr Young said there’s far too much water being dragged out of that system for irrigation.
“Everybody wants the water and nature can go to hell as far as they’re concerned,” he said. “We’ve go to wake up to ourselves.”
Mr Young said the finger pointing of blame has been going on for far too long.
“It’s about time we got some real people in there to discuss what is going to be best for that river system,” he said.
“At the moment people are just blaming each other and we’re getting nowhere so we need a Royal Commission.”
NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair last week told the AAP there had been two more fish kills in the state's north at Lake Keepit, where up to 1000 fish died, and at Lake Cathie, where hundreds were found dead.
NSW Irrigators’ Council chief executive Luke Simpkins and Cotton Australia general manager Michael Murray both defended their respective organisations’ water use and blames the drought for the fish kill.
NSW opposition leader Michael Daley wants the Berejiklian government to establish a special commission of inquiry.
Mr Young said somebody has to put some common sense into this argument because it was disgraceful.
“They’ve just got to get their priorities right. You can’t just keep sucking water out of the well and expect it to still be there,” he said.
READ MORE: Grim warnings of more fish deaths in NSW
The Murray–Darling Basin is the largest river system in Australia. It runs from Queensland, through New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and South Australia, spanning 77,000 kilometres of rivers, many of which are connected.
Menindee Lakes is part of the Lower-Darling catchment of the Murray–Darling Basin.
A royal commission held in 2018 investigated allegations of water theft from the Murray-Darling Basin by rogue irrigators with its report expected on February 1.
Mr Young lives on Lake Macquarie and is a self described “fishing freak.”
“To think that it’s happening right on our doorstep… it’s on our watch. We are the people of 2018/19, so we’ve got to do something about this. It can’t go on like this, it’s got to stop,” he said.