It was [then] Ballina mayor Phil Silver who was part of the team who voted to change Ballina’s no-fluoride policy in 2008. The moment we had a new council, Brendan White of the ADA appeared and approached the new council.
The community were only just finishing breakfast and still getting their weekly Advocate to say it was on the agenda when they had already voted! Crs Meehan, Cadwallader, Silver, Moore, Horden and Smith, without any public consultation, had already voted. How disrespectful to the community for it not to have been duly noted and passed over to the next meeting!
It was Phil Silver who [as chair of Rous Water] motioned the initial legal advice from Lindsay Taylor. This was misinterpreted by Rous Water manager Kyme Lavelle. The advice came at a cost of $20,000 and was then used to persuade councillors. Especially Crs Yarnall and Cr Sullivan who changed their vote for fluoridation. Biscoe and now three Supreme Court judges have judged this advice as erroneous.
After Mr Oshlack’s win, Cr Ekins motioned not to appeal but both Ballina councillors Phil Silver and Keith Johnson were part of the vote to waste ratepayers’ money on more unnecessary legal costs and appeal the judgment, when it was clear in Biscoe’s judgment that the Lindsay Taylor advice was erroneous. They were not under any threat as Kyme Lavelle implied then and now. Rous appealed!
Noting in the minutes that the incurred interest from the $2.3 million Rous had received for infrastructure was to be used for funding the appeal – therefore it was not Rous’s money per se but DoH’s money?
In actual fact Mr Oshlack won the case on all appeal points of claim except for lack of evidence of intimidation, yet David Yarnall felt so intimidated he made a press release at the time stating the fact.
Council’s powers set out under section 24 of the LGA are as follows:
‘24 Provision of goods, services and facilities and carrying out of activities
A council may provide goods, services and facilities, and carry out activities, appropriate to the current and future needs within its local community and of the wider public, subject to this Act, the regulations and any other law,’
– which is more than questionable when it comes to mass medication and deliberate contamination of the public water supply.
Crs Ekins and Dey motioned that the Rous Water should waive the costs as the money was the incurred interest.
Council voted against the motion.
Both Rous Water and Ballina Council should waive the costs as they put themselves into this position by appealing the Biscoe judgment and continuing to fight.
Mr Oshlack is a public advocate who actually listens to the voice of the community, unlike most councillors on this issue who are quite prepared to ignore even ‘reasonable doubt’ in the fluoridation program, which reached its heyday in the 50s, 60s and 70s to emerge as faulty science that has failed to deliver. Sydney now has the worst teeth since fluoridation began – a dismal failure. The best benefits of fluoride are from topical application – a toothpaste directly applied to the teeth – that is scientifically yielding the superior results!
How can the NSW DoH justify spending $9.9m on fluoridation when there is no guarantee to even reach the target group, which is less than five per cent of the community?
Shame on all the councillors who can justify this reckless spending to achieve nothing – this money could really help the target group and others on long waiting lists for a state-of-the-art community dental clinic.
Cr Worth is a newly elected councillor who knows nothing about the case or fluoridation.
Ilga Sleja, Ballina Fluoridation Free Network