The monitoring of resource condition is receiving renewed attention across several levels of government in Australia. This interest is linked to substantial investment in environmental remediation and aquatic ecosystem restoration in particular. In this context, it is timely to consider principles which ought to guide the development and implementation of monitoring programmes for wetland ecosystems. A framework is established which places monitoring in the context of the strategic adaptive management of wetlands. This framework requires there has to be clear goals for the extent and condition of the resource, with these goals being defined within thresholds of acceptable variability. Qualitative and, where possible, quantitative conceptual models linking management interventions to management goals should be the basis of indicator selection and assessment. The intensity of sampling ought to be informed by pilot surveys of statistical power in relation to the thresholds of acceptable variability identified within the management plan.