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Murray–Darling Basin Ministerial Council

The Murray–Darling Basin Ministerial Council (the Ministerial Council) is made up of Ministers responsible for water from each Basin jurisdiction and the Commonwealth.

The Ministerial Council has policy and decision-making roles for:

  • state water shares
  • funding and delivery of natural resource management programs
  • issues relating to critical human needs as provided for in the Water Act 2007 (Cth).

The review of the former Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Councils and Ministerial Forums has changed the way the Ministerial Council operates. In line with the review recommendations, Basin Water Ministers meet to discuss strategic issues of importance outside the formal meeting structure. This is a more agile and responsive way of working through issues. The Murray–Darling Basin Authority prepares an annual corporate plan for approval by the Ministerial Council.

The Ministerial Council can give directions to the Basin Officials Committee on its functions and powers. It can also seek the advice of the Basin Community Committee on these functions.

The key functions and powers of the Ministerial Council are:

  • consideration and determination of policy outcomes and objectives
  • determination on matters specified in the Murray–Darling Basin Agreement
  • approval of the annual corporate plan, budget and asset management plan prepared by the Authority
  • agree to amendments to the Murray–Darling Basin Agreement.

Ministerial Council members


Ministerial correspondence
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) inquiry into markets for tradeable water rights in the Murray–Darling Basin
Review of the Murray–Darling Basin joint governance arrangements – Final report
Basin Officials Committee governance – Joint government's response paper
EY Report: Analysis of efficiency measures in the Murray–Darling Basin
Report by the Murray–Darling Basin Ministerial Council on Implementing the Basin Plan – progress update
Report by the Murray–Darling Basin Ministerial Council on Implementing the Basin Plan
Murray–Darling Basin Compliance Compact

The Basin Plan Compliance Compact was endorsed at the Council of Australian Government meeting on 12 December 2018. Read the Compliance Compact and independent review.

Strategic discussion joint statements
30 April 2021 strategic discussion joint statement
Ministerial Council Communiques
Updated: 14 Sep 2022  •   MDBA reports