Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

New student resources highlight the importance of water

Media release
26 June 2012

Federal Water Minister Tony Burke today launched four new major teaching units to help students across Australia learn about the importance of water.

The four units aligned to the Australian Curriculum allow students to explore four key regions in Australia: the Murray-Darling Basin, Northern Australia and the Wet Tropics, the Lake Eyre Basin, and the Great Artesian Basin.

Mr Burke said the teaching resources explore how natural water systems work, the ways we use water, and sustainable water management practices.

“Understanding Australia’s water challenges is the first step to sustainable water management and better balancing the water needs of our communities, farmers and the environment,“ he said.

“With lessons ranging from the value of agriculture in the Murray-Darling Basin to the feasibility of moving water long distances across our country, these resources offer a practical approach to science and geography.

“The science and geography resources have been developed as an online resource to complement the digital education revolution.

“The lesson plans make use of new classroom technologies, including interactive whiteboards and high-speed internet connections.”

Mr Burke said the new teaching resources also give students the opportunity to explore water use in their own homes, schools and communities.

“The new teaching units will complement the Water Education Toolkit, a vast collection of resources for teachers available on the department’s website that has proven to be enormously popular generating more than 3000 unique page views in the last three months,” he said.

The Water Education Teaching Units were developed by Education Services Australia and reviewed by a panel of Australian teachers and an indigenous curriculum consultant.

“The resources have been developed for lower secondary school students but can easily be adapted for any classroom in Australia.

The resources in the Water Education Toolkit and the new Australian Water Education Teaching Units are free to access and use.

The teaching units can be accessed on the department’s website at