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August 1, 2021

Community campaign to oppose fluoride

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Lismore Councillor Simon Clough addressing Lismore's Safe Water rally on October 14. Photo Melissa Hargraves
Lismore councillor Simon Clough addressing Lismore’s Safe Water rally on October 14. Photo Melissa Hargraves

Melissa Hargraves

A long-term community campaign may be the only way for local residents to oppose ‘the mass medication of fluoride in the town’s water supply’, said a Lismore councillor at an anti-fluoride gathering outside Rous Water offices yesterday morning.

City councillor and Rous Water board member Simon Clough, who was one of the guest speakers at the Safe Water Northern Rivers event, told the group that Lismore City Council (LCC) is organising a public seminar with three speakers from both sides of the debate on Tuesday December 3 at the Council Chambers.

Cr Vanessa Ekins, who has been a member of the Rous Water board since 2006, did not speak at the event but was in attendance. She told Echonetdaily that the urgent workshop called by councillors has turned out to be hardly urgent.

‘An urgent workshop called in September to be held in December is quite manipulative in a way,’ Cr Ekins said. ‘I think it is designed to be outside of the Rous Water decision-making process.

‘This means that if we want to inform Rous about a change of decision it will be in December,’ she said, ‘but Rous already has money from the state government to put fluoride in the water so they want to act on it.’

Cr Ekins told Echonetdaily she asked Rous Water management if they would wait until Lismore had held the workshop but says she was told they were not prepared to do so.

‘I think it is unfortunate that Lismore will have its meeting three months later than it could have been,’ Cr Ekins said.

Cr Ekins is a scientist and is concerned that elected representatives with no scientific background will be making decisions when ‘there is quite a lot of science coming out describing the serious impacts that fluoride does have on our bodies, important organs such as the kidneys and heart’.

‘As a scientist it really worries me that if there is a question about this we shouldn’t be doing it, especially when there are so many other options,’ Cr Ekins said.

Cr Clough said, ‘LCC is currently six votes to five in support of fluoride. I have to say I am not wildly optimistic that fluoride will be rejected but there is every opportunity for the general public to lobby our councillors.’

Cr Clough said, ‘people need to do so in a sensible way’ and said that the ‘NSW shadow minister for health Mr Andrew McDonald has put up a private members bill mandating fluoride supplies’.

‘If that comes through from the state level,’ said Cr Clough, ‘at that point it is beyond local government.’

‘It is still in our hands at the moment and can still be changed,’ said Cr Clough.

Emma Salberstein of Safe Water Northern Rivers said the intention of the day was to ‘not discredit people’s choices; rather we are saying that there are other ways people can access fluoride without forcing it on the rest of the community [who are] unwilling.’

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  1. I live in a rural property with tank water, so it’s not an issue directly affecting me.
    I genuinely have an open mind on the subject, but I don’t have the scientific knowledge to evaluate the competing views. There was a time when I would just accept the official position of government authorities, trusting in their objectivity. Unfortuntaley trust in authority has been damaged by years of spin doctoring infecting every level of government.How do I know who to trust? Is flouride in the water a cancer-causing poison, unnecessary mass-medication or just a benign public good for the prevention of dental caries ?

  2. Thanks for that great article Melissa.
    I really cannot understand the reasoning behind mass medication like this, when other countries who keep up with the latest research, are spending a lot of money to take it out of their water.
    There is now so much scientific evidence against the ingestion of fluoride, it’s safety is definitely a major concern particularly to those with kidney, thyroid and heart problems, as well as detrimental effects it has on babies and young children.
    If someone wants to have access to the healthy type of fluoride, they need only go to their local health food shop, and purchase some Calc Fluor tissue salts. These are inexpensive, safe and effective, because they contain naturally occurring fluoride, rather than the toxic waste product that they are proposing to add to our water.
    I am not looking forward to having to purchase an expensive reverse osmosis filter to protect my and my families health, but that is exactly what I and many other concerned residents will have to do if this Fluoride goes in. Will the Council provide us with compensation for this? I suspect not.
    I agree we need to make a stand on this issue, before it’s too late. Wake up Lismore!

  3. Spot on Lee!

    Wake up people, our govt’s DO NOT know what is good for us, they have unfortunately become puppets for industry.

    Conspiracy? No, just a sad reality of our times…

    What’s next? Maybe if we add fracking water to our water supply it will fix the obesity epidemic!

  4. Byron Baysiders go home, you’re drunk.

    Guess what the active ingredient of toothpaste is? This community campaign is as daft as the one against recycling water (which produces water clean enough for kidney dialysis, btw).


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