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ACT students hear from politician on river health and water conservation

Two ACT schools have taken part in an education program on river health and water conservation by studying the Murray-Darling Basin.

Bob Baldwin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment, shared his knowledge  from a recent tour of the basin with Gilmore Primary pupils and Mount Stromlo High School students at Questacon on Monday.

Mr Baldwin connected with 10 other schools across the region via video conferencing. 

He said it was important young Australians recognised the importance of the Murray-Darling river system to future sustainability as the country aimed to become Asia's preferred supplier of fresh meat, fruit and vegetables.

"I have seen how important this river system is, met with lots of farmers and irrigators, seen how communities use it for recreational activities, how much it contributes to Australia's food bowl and economy, and how people have a real connection with their local environment," he said.

"Our children will be the future farmers, irrigators and environmentalists who will grow up to be the caretakers of this incredible river system.

"It's important they understand the economic, agricultural and environmental sustainability which will be achieved through the Murray-Darling Basin Plan once it is implemented. 

The Basin Champions program offers students in years 3 to 10 video conferences with Murray-Darling Basin Authority educators and the opportunity to create their own video reports on investigations such as water sharing, the impact of water quality on fish, river operations, salinity, and local communities and economies. 

More than 700 students from 23 schools have completed the program over the past two years.