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Murray-Darling Basin Commission

Murray-Darling Basin CommissionThe Murray-Darling Basin Commission (MDBC) is the Executive arm of the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council. The Council is the partnership of six governments – New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory and the Australian Government. It is an autonomous organisation equally responsible to the governments represented on the Ministerial Council as well as to the Council itself.

Underpinning this partnership is the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement 1992 (the Agreement), which sets out its purpose and objectives.

The Commission’s core responsibility is to manage the River Murray and the Menindee Lakes system of the lower Darling River, and advise the Ministerial Council on the use of the land, water and other environmental resources of the Murray-Darling Basin.

Working cooperatively with the partner governments, committees and community groups the Council develops and implements policies and programs that integrate the management of the Murray-Darling and manage and distribute the water, in accordance with the Agreement.

This cooperative approach reflects the importance placed on Government-community partnerships and brings to participants and end-users the benefit of shared concerns and expertise, jointly developed and integrated solutions, and avoids duplication of effort.

According to the Agreement, the purpose of the partnership is to:

‘Promote and coordinate effective planning and management for the equitable, efficient and sustainable use of the water, land and other environmental resources of the Murray-Darling Basin’.

The Agreement states that the functions of the Commission are to:

  • advise the Ministerial Council in relation to the planning, development and management of the water, land and other environmental resources of the Murray-Darling Basin;
  • assist the Ministerial Council in developing measures for the equitable, efficient and sustainable use of water, land and other environmental resources of the Murray-Darling Basin;
  • coordinate the implementation of or, where the Ministerial Council so requires, to implement any measures authorised by the Ministerial Council;
  • give effect to any policy or decision of the Ministerial Council, which the Ministerial Council requires the Commission to implement.

The strategic objectives of the commission are;

  • Protection and enhancement of the Basin’s shared environmental assets and water resources
  • Efficient and equitable delivery of water for productive and sustainable domestic consumption, environmental benefit and economic use
  • Delivery of high quality advice to Council, and achievement of its endorsed priorities, through strengthened capacity of the Commission and the Commission Office

For more information contact the MDBC Office on:


02 6279 0100





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