Murray–Darling Basin

The Murray–Darling Basin is the largest and most complex river system in the south-east of Australia, spanning 77,000 kilometres across four states and one territory. It is an important dairying region where farmers have invested in cost effective water management.

Dairying in the Basin

The Murray-Darling Basin includes most of New South Wales, some of southern Queensland, the east of South Australia, northern Victoria and all of the Australian Capital Territory.

In 22–23, dairy farmers across the Basin produced one fifth of the nation’s milk supply — 1.53 billion litres of milk from 912 farms with a value of approximately $1.14 billion at farm gate, and $1.96 billion value to the local economy. The industry supports 6862 jobs on farms, 42 processors across the region, and local businesses such as trades, transport, infrastructure and feedstock.

Like the rest of Australia, the Basin is challenged by dry conditions, less water availability and increasing water costs. Dairy farmers across the Basin increased their water efficiency by adopting new technologies, investing in infrastructure and improving farm systems.

Access resources for supporting dairy farmers with changing conditions in the Basin, as well as learn about the Basin's history and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and Basin Plan.

Discover more

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