The Northern Murray-Darling Basin Program is an initiative of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) aimed at providing advice on the sustainable management of the water resources of the Darling River and its associated tributary river systems. The Program is guided by a Working Group made up of representatives from state agencies, community and the Australian Government. The Program is concerned with the water resources in the Darling River basin including the following valleys: the Border Rivers; Moonie; Gwydir; Namoi-Peel; Macquarie; Castlereagh; Condamine-Balonne; Nebine; Warrego; Paroo; Barwon-Darling and the Lower Darling.The Program has been engaging the assistance of a range of organisations to bring an integrated approach to the development of a strategic action plan. This work includes projects in areas such as the ecology of northern wetlands and rivers; the provision of socio-economic information that provides an understanding of the links between water resources and people as well as on-going studies of the hydrology of the region. The Northern Murray-Darling Basin Program recognised the need for a long-term ecological monitoring framework for wetlands in the Northern Murray-Darling Basin to complement the Sustainable Rivers Audit. In 2007, the Northern-Basin Working Group contracted the Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre (MDFRC) to undertake a scoping study investigating the current monitoring arrangements for wetland monitoring in the northern basin and identifying options for progressing the development of a monitoring framework. The main findings of this report were that whilst wetland monitoring is required at several jurisdictional levels, current monitoring arrangements are at best ad-hoc and that to-date, there has been very little investment in the development of wetland monitoring programs. Thus wetland monitoring is often incomplete and inconsistent at both regional and state levels. This has resulted in a paucity of information regarding wetland condition that compromises our capacity to sustainably manage wetlands across much of Australia. wever, the scoping study also identified that the National Land and Water Resources Audit, National Water Commission, the Department of Water, Heritage and the Arts, the NRM Ministerial Council, the Wetlands and Waterbirds Taskforce and all state governments have accepted the need for the development of wetland monitoring programs and the need for a consistent approach. In light of this, the National Land and Water Resources Audit (NLWRA), in conjunction with state agencies undertook the National Wetland Indicators Review which developed a framework for monitoring wetland extent, distribution and condition. The National Wetland Indicators Review undertook an extensive review of the different programs, indicators, and frameworks currently being used to monitor wetlands in Australia and overseas, and held jurisdictional workshops and national workshops to develop and reach national agreement on a set of indicators and guidelines for extent, distribution and condition of lacustrine and palustrine wetlands. The NLWRA framework has the support of federal, state and regional jurisdictions and the proposed framework has been agreed to by the Wetlands and Waterbirds Taskforce and by the Aquatic Ecosystems Taskforce for consideration. In light of this, rather than independently developing a separate framework, the MDBA is working collaboratively with the state and federal jurisdictions in the development of the NLWRA framework. The NLWRA framework proposes that there should not be a single set of condition indicators mandated for all wetlands, rather, that managers should utilise their system understanding to develop conceptual models of wetlands and utilise these models to select appropriate indicators. Thus, the development of conceptual models that synthesise our understanding of the ecological functioning of wetlands is a vital step in the development and implementation of the framework.