Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from Australian Community Media, which has journalists in every state and territory. Today's is written by ACM national agriculture writer Chris McLennan. Those folk in charge of Australia's biggest river are doing a horrible job. Never before have we seen the Murray River in such a state. That's not just me saying this, have a chat to anyone who lives along the river or regularly fishes in it. I take my lead from my father who loved it so much that when he retired from farming he moved to live on its banks for the remainder of his days. He despaired at how it was being managed. He was moved to tears when he described to me the hardy Murray crayfish climbing out of the water when it turned toxic. Fish kills were becoming all too regular, he said. The nation has spent billions of taxpayer dollars on a controversial plan to fix it up because scientists said it was broken. It has involved buying lots of irrigation water back from farmers to direct environmental flows into the right areas at the right times. The Federal government has just told us more buybacks are still needed to complete the plan although most of the water has been secured. So why is the river in such a state? The experts tell us blackwater events are natural happenings. Dr Janet Pritchard is an undoubted expert as the Murray-Darling Basin Authority's senior director for environmental management. Dr Pritchard said hypoxic blackwater events occur as leaf litter and other carbon-based debris is swept into waterways. The third La Nina event delivered a very big flood along the Murray last year, many people are still counting the cost of that. Lots of debris was washed into the river. Many fish died and the poor old crayfish had to take evasive action along a long stretch of the river, basically from Victorian-NSW border towns of Echuca to Swan Hill. Dr Pritchard explained further. "As this material (debris) is consumed and broken down by bacteria, oxygen can be sucked out of the water, making it difficult for fish and other aquatic animals to survive." Dartmouth and Hume dams were full - we humans had no way to prevent last year's flooding, no doubt about that. By why are thousands of fish dying at Kangaroo Lake between Swan Hill and Kerang in northern Victoria right now? Why are we again witnessing terrible scenes at Menindee in NSW's far west where millions of fish have died - again? The shallow Menindee Lakes did pretty well out of the flood really, after being dust dry just years earlier. Recently they were officially 110 per cent full (I'm still trying to get my head around that). Today the lakes are holding 1638 gigalitres of water and are at 95 per cent capacity. Look, we know the Murray River is nothing like it was before man tried to control it. Today we have built 14 weirs, 10 locks and all sorts of dams to bend it to our will. Plus, as we discussed, we now have oceans of water in the bank to better to manage its environment. These are the facts. It is also true there have been significant fish kills in 2018/19 and many more smaller events since then. We have not made much of a fist of taking care of it, in fact we seem to be getting worse. Those experts who told us they needed all this extra water to take better care of it, appear to be the folk who are stuffing it up. A person recently commented on social media after another recent fish kill, if they weren't fish but fluffy animals living on top of the surface there'd be national outrage at all these animal deaths. Nowhere near good enough.