Who should be controlling the Murray-Darling?

Professor John Williams

Professor John Williams
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Monday, 13 October 2008

As the debate over water continues, can the Commonwealth take control of the Murray-Darling waters from the States?

This will be discussed by one of Australia's leading constitutional law experts, Professor John Williams, at the University of Adelaide's free Research Tuesday Public Seminar Series on Tuesday 14 October.

Professor in Law at the University of Adelaide, Professor Williams will explore the drafting of the Australian Constitution and the impact the decisions of the 1890s are having on water shortages and health of the Murray-Darling Basin today.

"Water quality and quantity and the sustainability of communities are all critical issues for the future of the Murray-Darling Basin," says Professor Williams. "So too are the constitutional arrangements that may facilitate its recovery."

Professor Williams will outline the current constitutional situation and consider the capacity of the Commonwealth to take control in the national interest.

"While agreement between the States must be the preferred option, the question needs to be asked whether the Commonwealth can wrest control of the rivers from the States," says Professor Williams.

Held on the second Tuesday of every month, Research Tuesday gives leading experts from the University of Adelaide an opportunity to engage with business, community leaders and the general public on issues that impact on them.

Professor Williams is also Associate Dean (Research) in the University of Adelaide's Faculty of the Professions.

He is a member of the Advisory Council of the National Archives of Australia, Secretary of the Judicial Conference of Australia, and a Council member of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law.

He has written extensively on the Australian Constitution and his research interests are constitutional law, federalism and Australian legal history, in particular the High Court.

WHAT: Research Tuesday: 'The Constitution and the Murray-Darling Rivers: Send in the Litigators?'
WHERE: Lecture Theatre G04, Napier Building, North Terrace Campus, University of Adelaide
WHEN: 5.30pm, Tuesday 14 October
COST: Free. Please book by email: research.tuesdays@adelaide.edu.au or phone: (08) 8303 3692


Contact Details

Professor John Williams
Email: john.williams@adelaide.edu.au
Dean of Law School
Director, South Australian Law Reform Institute
The University of Adelaide

Ms Robyn Mills
Email: robyn.mills@adelaide.edu.au
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084