The Murray–Darling Basin Ministerial Council comprises Ministers from each of the Basin state and the ACT. It is chaired by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham (Commonwealth) and current members are; the Hon Kevin Humphries MP (New South Wales); the Hon Peter Walsh MP (Victoria); the Hon Ian Hunter MLC South Australia); the Hon Andrew Cripps MP (Queensland); Mr Simon Corbell MLA (ACT).
The Murray–Darling Basin Ministerial Council is established by the Murray–Darling Basin Agreement, Schedule 1 to the Water Act 2007 (Cwlth), as amended.
The Ministerial Council has an advisory role in the preparation of the Basin Plan by the Murray–Darling Basin Authority.
When the Basin Plan was first made, the Authority advised the Council on the socioeconomic implications of any reductions in the sustainable diversion limits in the Basin Plan. The Authority is also required to provide advice to the Ministerial Council on the impacts of the Basin Plan five years after it first takes effect.
The Ministerial Council has policy and decision-making roles for matters such as state water shares, and the funding and delivery of natural resource management programs, as set out in the Murray–Darling Basin Agreement. The Authority is required to prepare an annual corporate plan for approval by the Ministerial Council in relation to these matters.
The Ministerial Council also has a policy and decision-making role in regard to issues relating to critical human needs as provided for in the Act.
The Ministerial Council may give directions to the Basin Officials Committee concerning its functions and powers under the Murray–Darling Basin Agreement, and can also seek the advice of the Basin Community Committee on these functions.
A communiqué is released following each meeting.