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March 5, 2021

Tweed can’t revisit fluoride: minister

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A chemical dosing room at Tweed Shire Council's Bray Park water treatment facility. State laws forbid the council from ceasing fluoridating its water. Photo TSC
A chemical dosing room at Tweed Shire Council’s Bray Park water treatment facility. State laws forbid the council from ceasing fluoridating its water. Photo TSC

State laws forbid Tweed Shire Council from ending fluoridation of its local water supply, health minister Jillian Skinner has said.

Ms Skinner said that it was legal for Byron or other councils that had not begun fluoridating their water to keep it out of their water supply if they wanted to but once they ‘went down that path’ there was no going back.

Tweed Greens councillor Katie Milne has put a notice of motion to this week’s council meeting to cease fluoridation of the shire’s water supply.

Ms Skinner  told local media she would not be supporting the opposition’s bill to make water fluoridation into a state issue, effectively making it compulsory.

‘They can’t renege on fluoridation once it has started,’ Ms Skinner told ABC radio this morning, adding that Tweed Council ‘cannot reverse that decision. If fluoride is in the water, it cannot be reversed.

‘[Tweed Council] can have the debate but… the legislation says… that once fluoridation has begun it cannot be reversed.’

The issue will also be discussed at Byron’s council meeting on Thursday, with deputy mayor Diane Woods saying that Council needed to have an informed debate with ‘real information from real experts’.

‘Last time Council discussed it we had a five-minute talk against and a five-minute talk in favour of it in our public access,’ she told ABC radio.

‘I’d like to hear the real facts about why we shouldn’t do it and also the real facts about the benefits. We haven’t done that and we need to do it to be fully informed,’ she said.

She agreed that the health minister’s comments could muddy the waters if it meant Byron could never withdraw, but added, ‘I think we’ve got a different council and all of my colleagues have very open minds’.


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  1. Thanks Chris
    It was very disturbing to hear there is no going back ever.
    Just a correction though. I wasn’t proposing to cease fluoride with this motion; just to find out the costs and what other countries are doing in relation to more progressive options at this stage.
    Warm regards,
    Cr Katie Milne

  2. If this travesty of sanity is truly the case then the state government has clearly demonstrated, by its deliberate intention to place a poison and nuerotoxin in the nsw water supply, that it is in breach of trust and the entire nsw should be required to step down pending investigations into the crimes against humanity it is currently perpetrating against its employers.

    A law that causes harm is no law and void at the discretion of the people.

    • Max, you’re correct. But it goes further than that. The Commonwealth legislation -Therapeutic Goods Act 1989, Therapeutic Goods (Excluded Goods) Order No. 1 of 2011 Section 5 Item 10, does not permit therapeutic claims for “substances used for the purification or treatment of drinking water”. The Therapeutic Goods Administration have advised, in writing, that fluorides substances used for water fluoridation come under this classfication.

      3) Any such law made by a State legislature is ‘legal’ since it has been endorsed by the relevant authority. However. in every State in Australia in which such legislation has been passed, those laws cannot be enforced. They are inconsistent with the Federal code on medicines (‘drugs’) as set out in the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 and its legislative instruments. The objective of the Act is to lay down the general principles that must be applied in the regulation of all goods that are intended to be used in a therapeutic role. In this respect the Act ‘covers the field’ of drug regulation. A State law that is inconsistent with the Federal law cannot be exempt, nor permit individual exemptions, from that over-riding principle set out in the Federal law.

      The relevant ruling can be found in Victoria v The Commonwealth (1937) 58 CLR, 618. At 630 Dixon J stated two propositions, which were endorsed later by the Full Court in Telstra Corporation Limited v Worthing [1999] HCA, 12 at [28], as follows:

      A. “When a State law, if valid, would alter, impair or detract from the operation of the Commonwealth Parliament, then to that extent it is invalid”, and
      B. “Moreover, if it appears from the terms, the nature or the subject matter of a Federal enactment that it was intended as a complete statement of the law governing a particular matter or set of rights and duties, then for a State law to regulate or apply to the same matter or relation is regarded as a detraction from the full operation of the Commonwealth law and so is inconsistent.”

      4) So as a medicine, it is permissible for fluoridated water to be prepared according to the ‘cook book’ of the State legislation on fluoridation. But then the product may only be supplied in a fashion that is in full compliance of the additional constraints imposed on the supply of medicinal products under the Therapeutic Goods Act.

      This means, for example, that it must have been subject to full clinical assessment and, if accepted as fulfilling the clinical criteria of efficacy and safety required of all such publicly available medicinal products, awarded a relevant therapeutic good license. It must then be supplied only in accordance with the regulations governing the supply of medicinal products, including those on packaging and labelling the product. Its supply to the public in the absence of a relevant product license, and in the public water reticulation network, instead of in a bottle or other container, is clearly incompatible with the constraints expressed in the relevant legislation on these matters

  3. The Health Minister’s comments indicates two positions. “Councils” are not independent entities as they are “creatures” of State GovCo. Whatever a “Council” decides about local matters can be vetoed by Macquarie Street. One needs to ask what is the point of having a “Council” at all. Cost savings will be considerable if a local office of State GovCo were opened instead of having a land tax funded “Council”operation. Think of it. No salaries and benefits for a Mayor and a CEO. That’s about a half million dollars a year. All operational jobs would remain intact. Media liaison and other “furry” positions would go. More money for public housing perhaps ? The second position is that the Health Minister is saying that fluoridation cannot be reversed because State legislation blocks that. The minister is deluded. Nothing in this world is “fixed” except the “Laws of Physics”. The legislation can be repealed and the “Minister” can be replaced through the ballot box. All of this is predicated on the assumption that we all keep on pretending that GovCo has legitimate authority in the meantime. The OPPT position is that it does not. Ask the questions yourself of GovCo. Who are you ? What are you ? What is the source of your authority ? Where is it ? Can I see it ?

  4. Since when do govt’s bother listening to ‘real information’?
    And who exactly are these ‘real experts’?
    Ah stuff it lets poison the water, it’s good for us!

  5. It is incorrect that Councils are not able to cease water fluoridation once it has been added to the water supply. The Health Minister must be aware of the provisions of the Fluoridation legislation whereby Councils are able to apply to discontinue the practice of adding artificial fluoride to reticulated water supplies. In the judgment handed down by the Supreme Court (Court of Appeal) in July 2013 Justice Emmett ruled:.

    7. Section 6B of the Fluoridation Act deals with the discontinuance of fluoridation. Under s 6B(1), a water supply authority to which an approval has been granted or a direction has been given must not discontinue fluoridating the public water supply concerned unless the approval or direction is revoked by the Secretary. Under s 6A(4), the Secretary may revoke a direction at any time after giving the direction.

    What the Minister really meant to say is that NSW Health will not grant an approval to Councils who after examining all the facts about applying a dental medical treatment on residents without their informed consent , decide to cease this government interference. The Minister must also be aware that NSW Health has a Public Health policy directive about informed consent. No residents have ever given their informed consent for this medical treatment and according to this directive this could result in the Councils being sued for assault and battery.

  6. Ms Skinner, the NSW Health Minister, says State laws may forbid it, but Ms Skinner has been informed back in July that the supply to the public is in breach of Commonwealth legislation for “substances used for the purification or treatment of drinking water” to make therapeutic claims such as fluorides used for the prevention of tooth decay.

  7. Jillian Skinner and Dr Andrew McDonald would do anything they could to keep fluoride in the water – they’re interested in power, not health. I have in the past petitioned the Greens in the NSW Legislature and they don’t seem to be particularly interested in stopping fluoride. Nor compulsory vaccinations. I was so disgusted I didn’t vote Green in the last election.

  8. The forced-fluoridation experiment is medical malpractice on an industrial scale. Fluoridation chemicals are the only medications which are delivered via public water supplies, and appear to be the only such medications in history. Medicating public water supplies with any chemical violates the ethical principle of informed consent, is entirely indiscriminate, results in the random dosing of residents since the fluoride dose received from water and other sources is uncontrolled, and is environmentally irresponsible because the vast majority of tap water is not ingested, so the environmental load is vastly greater than it needs to be. Medicating public water supplies means that politicians are subjecting everyone to treatment which no doctor can legally impose on anyone, and is surely the most ham-fisted method of drug delivery ever devised.

    Medicating public water supplies with fluoridation chemicals is especially egregious, because fluoride is a cumulative toxin with a half life in the body of around 20 years, there was no good quality scientific research which indicated that forced-fluoridation was anything but dangerous and useless in the 1940s and there still isn’t any, the best quality scientific research which has been conducted indicates that forced-fluoridation is in fact both dangerous and useless, the fluoridation chemicals which are used are industrial grade rather than pharmaceutical grade, and fluoride is not biodegradable. The forced-fluoridation experiment is immoral, illegal, irrational, archaic, pseudoscientific, and not worth the risk.

    The following are some good sources of information: the Fluoride Action Network website, Declan Waugh’s work, the books The Case Against Fluoride and The Fluoride Deception, the 2006 US National Research Council report Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards, and the peer-reviewed journal Fluoride.

  9. Clearly, the State law is an ass!!! And has absolutely no concern for the general welfare of peoples’ health. What an abomination! This makes me cry in disgust!

  10. I have been an RN for 30 years and anyone who thinks that drinking fluoridated water is safe for human health is totally out of their minds. As well, why should a 200 pound man receive the same dose as an 8 pound baby. There is not a single drug that is not dose dependent and yet we just dump this toxic chemical into our water and let people drink as much as they want. Fluoride has been proven to lower IQ, contribute to bone cancer, destroy the thyroid and cause hair loss. It has NEVER been shown to decrease tooth decay, except when applied topically, not ingested systemically. If you want fluoride, fine, go buy it and drink it, but don’t FORCE the rest of us to consume this dreadful substance. It is pure Orwellian insanity.


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