Dead in the Water: Q&A with Richard Beasley SC and Kate McBride

On 3 March 2021 author Richard Beasley SC and Healthy Rivers advocate Kate McBride, presented an unmissable Q&A on the state of the Murray-Darling – and what could turn things around. 

Proudly presented by the Conservation Council of SA at our home The Joinery, 111 Franklin St Adelaide.

The Murray-Darling Basin is dying and despite its catastrophic plight, and the devastating findings of the South Australian Royal Commission, policy regarding the basin continues to be corrupted, neglected or ignored.

Richard Beasley draws on his experience as a Senior Counsel, to assist the Royal Commission in “Dead in the Water”, a book that is simultaneously hilarious, deadly serious – and very, very angry.


Richard Beasley is fed up. He's fed up with vested interests killing off Australia's most precious water resource. He's fed up with the cowardice and negligence that have allowed Big Agriculture and irrigators to destroy a river system that can sustain both the environment and the communities that depend on it. He's fed up that a noble plan to save the Murray-Darling Basin, based on the 'best scientific knowledge' has instead been corroded by lies, the denial of climate change, pseudoscience and political expediency.

He pulls no punches. He's provocative, he's outrageous, he points the finger without shame. And he will leave you very, very angry. “Dead in the Water” would be political satire of the highest order . . . if it weren't so tragically true.

'With a deft mixture of outrage, humour and in-depth knowledge, only Beasley could make water policy a page-turner.' Craig Reucassel.

Richard Beasley Richard Beasley SC is a Senior Counsel at the NSW Bar Association. In 2020 he was Senior Counsel assisting the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Ruby Princess, and in 2018-19 he was Senior Counsel assisting the Murray Darling Basin Royal Commission. He is the author of five works of fiction, including “Hell has Harbour Views”, which was adapted for television by the ABC in 2005. “Dead in the Water”, published by Allen & Unwin in February 2021, is his first work of non-fiction. 

Kate McBride is a fifth-generation grazier from Western NSW. She was born and brought up on Tolarno Station, a 500,000-acre sheep property located along the Lower Darling River.

Over the past five years Kate has become a familiar face in the fight for both a healthy Darling- Barka River and Menindee Lakes. She has been interviewed for a number of programs, most notably Australian Story - Cry me a river and ABC’s Q&A Drought special. Kate is passionate about rural and regional Australia and is dedicated to fixing water management to ensure healthy communities. Kate has also been awarded an achievement award, by the Adelaide chapter of UNESCO for her work.

Support us and get involved

Contact Conservation SA on (08) 8223 5155, [email protected], or at our offices at the Joinery at 111 Franklin Street, Adelaide.

Created using NationBuilder