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May 17, 2021

Anti-fluoride campaigners eye new chance

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Melissa Hargraves

After many months of debate about whether to fluoridate Lismore’s water supply last year, some Lismore City councillors and activists have seized on a chance for what they consider to be ‘real community consultation’ at last.

Greens Lismore Cr Vanessa Ekins, who also sits on Rous Water board, says there is an opportunity to request Rous Water to conduct independent community consultation on the fluoridation of the Lismore water supply, and be guided by these results on whether to seek a direction to fluoridate.

The opportunity has arisen as a result of a letter received from NSW Health in response to a letter sent by Lismore City Council (LCC) conveying council’s Dec 2013 decision to fluoridate.

Chief health officer and deputy director-general population and public health Dr Kerry Chant responded to LCC on behalf of the Director General in a letter dated January 10, 2014.

The letter outlines that a direction to fluoridate, if supported by the director-general, would need to replace the current approval to fluoridate, and would require the approval to fluoridate to be revoked.

Dr Chant says in the letter that ‘where a water supply authority requests a direction, the Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies Act 1957 allows a revocation of the approval issued under Section 6.’

Councillor Vanessa Ekins has put together a motion after seeing correspondence from NSW Health and says this is an opportune time for community consultation on the controversial issue.

NSW Health has been ridiculed in the past over their public consultation process that supported their choice to fluoridate.

At last year’s LCC fluoride workshop Merilyn Haines said the surveys (from 2005 to 2008) of popular support by NSW health for the support of fluoridation should have been named ‘push polls’

‘These surveys only have small numbers in each area, eg in 2005 NSW Health surveyed 14 people in the Lismore LGA, 17 in 2006 and 19 in both 2007 and 2008,’ said Ms Haines.

Anti fluoride activist Al Oshlack has told Echonetdaily that the least LCC and Rous Water can do is conduct a plebiscite.

However, council staff commented in their report that ‘the proposal outlined in the Notice of Motion is not supported as it is not consistent with Council’s earlier decision of 13 December 2013 to seek a direction to fluoridate.’

‘The implication of the suggested consultation is that Council and/or Rous Water could yet again reconsider this matter and change its position.

‘As advised in the staff response to the Notices of Motion considered at the 10 December 2013 meeting, continual reconsideration of the matter causes uncertainty for the community and in particular for Rous Water which is trying to plan the implementation of fluoridation including procurement of plant and equipment, contractors and planning for installation etc.

‘Rous Water has previously determined to support fluoridation of the water supply and is proceeding to do so in accordance with the approval that currently exists.

‘The change in mechanism to facilitate that process is considered to be procedural in nature and not an opportunity to reconsider the whole question of fluoridation.’


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6 COMMENTS

  1. Fluoride is a toxic waste that inhibits cognitive function and is banned in 98% of Europe for that very reason. There is only one reason someone would campaign for water fluoridation: A lack of knowledge of the facts… due largely to the years of disinformation and propaganda that has been drilled into people by a government that simply does not care.

  2. “The letter outlines that a direction to fluoridate, if supported by the director-general, would need to replace the current approval to fluoridate, and would require the approval to fluoridate to be revoked.”

    So then if they fluoridate in accordance with the direction, they would be then fluoridating without approval – what is the penalty?

    Catch 22. Should not lawyers / pols etc be tested for English proficiency before appointment?

  3. Australia really is the chattering class of the world. After Vanessa Ekins finishes consultation about flouride she could organise community comment on nuclear fusion or maybe brainsurgery…………lets go back and review the salk vaccine.
    To quote wikipedia.
    …..Opposition to fluoridation has existed since its initiation in the 1940s.[2] During the 1950s and 1960s, some opponents of water fluoridation suggested that fluoridation was a communist plot to undermine public health………..
    What is it with the Greens cannot tie their bootlaces but think they are experts on everything.

  4. The addition of Flouride to our water supply is vital for the more socially disadvantaged of us, for those children whose parents know or care little about nutrition and dental hygiene and for those who cannot afford dental care (and those numbers are rising as the costs of dental care rise). Some families simply have weaker teeth than others, Flouride helps them, children from dysfunctional families have a chance to reach adulthood with a full set of teeth if we embrace Flouridation, the benefits far out weigh any risks.
    Those of us who don’t wish to drink Flouridated water probably don’t fall into the above demographic, we are also most likely already filtering our water of Chlorine and other ‘impurities.’
    For the sake of our less fortunate brothers and sisters it behooves us to choose Flouridation.

    • Some people are also allergic to fluoride and young people in the demographic you are referring to mostly drink coke and other soft drinks. So it seems to me that we are putting industrial grade fluoride which contains a lot of impurities including heavy metals and even polonium to try an improved the dental health of a small group of children who don’t even drink water, when more effective methods such as dental hygiene and dental checks in school would be a better answer. It would be definitely cheaper to include dental hygiene in the curriculum and may be also bad dietary habits that to fluoridate the water that is mostly flushed down the toilets.
      This debate is ridiculously human centric, what about the environment? In Adelaide alone more than seven tonnes of industrial fluoride is dumped into the waterways and not a single study has been carried out on its impact.
      And yes! the greens may not have all the answers but they ask the right questions. The way we are going we will soon be the casualty of our own greed and stupidity.

  5. How about putting fluoride in soft drinks and other rubbish food that causes tooth decay. Fluoride tablets are also available. Poisoning the water for all is unnecessary.

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