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Making water the drink of choice in Bendigo

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Bendigo locals will have better access to free water this summer with the installation of six new water fountains thanks to a grant from the Victorian Government.

The fountains are being installed as part of a partnership between City of Greater Bendigo, the Victorian Government and VicHealth to ensure locals get access to free, healthy, fresh water at popular sport and recreation areas such as Lake Weeroona.

The new fountains will also include a tap for refilling water bottles, in an effort to reduce the amount of single-use plastic bottles being used in the area.

Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said the Government was pleased to partner with the City of Greater Bendigo and VicHealth to help make the healthy choice the easy choice for locals.

“It’s really important we stay hydrated, particularly as the weather heats up and we’re out and about getting active,” Ms Edwards said.

“We want to encourage Greater Bendigo locals to choose tap water instead of sugary drinks. Water is great for us, free and now even more accessible.

“With nearly two-thirds of Victorian adults currently overweight or obese, reducing your intake of sugary drinks is one way to promote a healthier diet and improve health, prevent tooth decay - and save money.”

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said the new fountains were part of an effort to make water the drink of choice in Greater Bendigo.

“There’s a common misconception that we need to drink sports drinks when we’re getting active to rehydrate when actually water is the best choice,” Ms Rechter said.

“A standard 600ml sports drink contains a whopping 11 teaspoons of sugar. Too much sugar in our diets can lead to a range of health issues such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

“We want to make it easy for locals to drink water so we’re very pleased there will now be more water fountains in the area.”

Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke said the City is encouraging people to take advantage of the new fountains.

“The new fountains are in locations where large numbers of people gather to play sport or take part in physical activity and recreation so we’re encouraging people to take a water bottle along when they visit these locations,” Cr O’Rourke said.

“Refilling a water bottle is good for the environment, good for your health and saves money.”

Three new water fountains have been installed at Lake Weeroona, one at Weeroona Oval and two at North Bendigo Oval.

The fountains build on VicHealth and the City of Greater Bendigo’s partnership to improve access to water over sugary drinks as part of the Water in Sport program.

Making water the drink of choice, instead of sugary drinks is an important step in implementing the Victorian Government’s Healthy Choices guidelines, which aim to improve the supply and promotion of healthy foods and drinks in the community.   


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