Rous Water has the go-ahead to build up to five fluoride plants in the region, to dose the water delivered to consumers in the Richmond Valley, Lismore and Ballina shires, following the failure of a challenge in the Land and Environment Court.
Byron Shire water will not be fluoridated as that council opposes the move.
‘This is one of the most cost-effective public health measures we can possibly take,’ said Rous Water chairman and Ballina mayor Phil Silver following the judgment, which was handed down by Justice Rachel Pepper yesterday.
He expects the new plants will be up and running within a year.
The decision is a blow for Lismore environmental campaigner Al Oshlack, who has had costs of up to $250,000 awarded against him. But it has not dented his determination to take the matter further, with an appeal to the Supreme Court likely.
‘We’ve already done some fundraising to lodge an appeal and as soon as my barristers have had a look at it we will be going that way,’ he told ABC radio this morning.