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Byron Shire
October 3, 2022

Ballina council rejects community poll on fluoride

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Ballina residents will not be asked whether they support fluoride. (file pic)
Ballina residents will not be asked whether they support fluoride. (file pic)

Darren Coyne

A majority of Ballina shire councilors have rejected a push to hold a community poll on whether residents want their water supply fluoridated.

Ballina Shire Greens Councillor Jeff Johnson. Photo supplied
Ballina Shire Greens Councillor Jeff Johnson. Photo supplied

Cr Jeff Johnson, who is running as an independent in the state election, had proposed the poll in a notice of motion at yesterday’s council meeting.

‘It is my personal opinion that introducing fluoride to the water supply is not the best way to improve dental hygiene,’ Cr Johnson said.

‘Council would be much better off allocating a proportion of the $100,000 annual cost towards an educational program in conjunction with the schools.

‘The most important aspect here is diet and behavior.

‘If council was serious about reducing tooth decay, it would be championing an educational program within our community and schools.’

In speaking for his motion, Cr Johnson said there had been no community consultation on the matter.

‘The submissions were very much in the negative,’ he said.

He argued that community polls at election time provided the most cost effective way to determine the community’s priorities or position on such important local issues.

‘I would like community polls to become a regular feature of local government elections, indeed all elections, to give the community the chance to vote on specific issues rather than simply voting for a politician to make all the decisions on their behalf,’ he said.

Crs Keith Williams and Ken Johnson supported Cr Johnson’s bid for a poll, but the other seven councilors voted it down.

Cr Ken Johnson said he was pro-flouride but said an election day poll would be a good way to guage the opinion of residents on fluoride, and potentially other issues of importance.

Cr Williams said his opposition to fluoride was based on human rights and questions of consent.

Meanwhile, Cr Jeff Johnson also argued that ‘pro- fluoride advocates would have you believe that the whole world is fluoridating their water except for Ballina’. ‘The fact is that many jurisdictions have never introduced fluoride and quite a number who did are having it removed,’ he said.

Rous Water is currently building four plants that will provide fluoridated water to a majority of residents in the region.

It is anticipated that the construction will be completed around Easter 2015.

Ballina is constructing a fluoride plant at Marom Creek water treatment plant to supply fluoridated water to Wardell.

Fluoridated water will also be supplied to most town water customers in the Ballina, Lismore and Richmond Valley Council areas.

After losing the motion, Cr Johnson took a swipe at the decision of Ballina mayor David Wright to support fluoride.

‘It was interesting to note that Cr Wright didn’t support the proposed poll yet told the meeting after the debate that “there is no one more against fluoride that me”.

‘It’s quite ironic for the mayor to make that statement while at the same time not supporting a community poll.

‘Mayor Wright also previously supported the proposal to introduce fluoride without any community consultation. One has to ask, why does the mayor vote in a way that is inconsistent with his beliefs and comments?’

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  1. Community water medication provides the equivalent of 3-4 fluoride tablets per day (0.5mg per tablet) for a person drinking 2 liters of fluoridated water per day. That’s over a thousand tablets every year (over 10 bottles of pharmacy medication). A bottle contains a 100 fluoride tablets. Instructions say: Do Not Use in children under 3 years old. Do Not Use during pregnancy. Age 3-5 years, 1/2 tablet per day. Age 6 – 8yrs, 1 tablet per day. 9yrs and over, 2 tablets per day. So everybody is getting an overdose of a highly toxic pharmacologically active drug that was used to lower overactive thyroid disorders in the past. Doses as low as 0.9mg per day were able to reduce the basal metabolic rate of some hyperthyroid patients and alleviate their condition. The Institute of Medicine has determined that bottle fed babies even exceed the upper limit of fluoride intake. (250 times more than breast fed). That means bottle fed babies receive a toxic dose of a confirmed neurotoxin and endocrine disruptor.

  2. As a resident of Ballina Shire and a parent I find it hard to believe that our elected Councillors consider for a second they have the authority to mass medicate the entire population – whether it be flouride or any other substance supposedly beneficial to the health of the entire population.
    How can you possible determine just how much flouride each individual will ingest? When you shower you breathe in the flouride vapour, when you wash clothes in it there remains residue etc.
    Do ALL residents of the Shire require flouride? Does an individual, in their latter years benefit in ANY way from ingesting flouride?
    Does an individual undergoing other medical treatments such as chemotherapy or ray treatment benefit from flouride added to their water supply – or does it in fact just compromise their already compromised physiology…..
    Back to my original issue – who do these Councillors think they are to determine what “medication” my family requires?

  3. I find it unbelievable that people will be imposed upon by adding fluoride to the water, where no one has the option to not have it. So we will cook with it, clean with it, wash with it, brush our teeth with it, drink it (definitely not)?? and not to mention that in the cafes and restaurants everyone will be fed this water, be in in ‘drinking water’ or cooked meals. And all with no say, just because some councillors opinion says it should be done? There is enough serious research out there about the health damage fluoride causes and the lack of effect it has on dental health. Here just one excerpt from the SMH:


    “On Tuesday, British researchers called for health authorities to reconsider its water fluoridation program after a new study linked fluoride to higher rates of hypothyroidism – low thyroid function that slows the metabolism down and can cause fatigue, weight gain and depression.

    The observational study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health (a specialist journal published by the British Medical Journal group) reported that GP clinics in areas with fluoridated water were nearly twice as likely to report high rates of hypothyroidism compared with clinics in areas without water fluoridation.

    While the researchers did not prove fluoride was causing the illness, they said their results should be “substantial cause for public health concern” and should prompt people to be tested for the condition. “”

    I fully agree with Councillor Jeff Johnson – educate yourselves, the schools etc etc to promote well-being, do not poison our water.
    Karina Kaiser

  4. Here we go again. Facts that Council members are ignoring:
    1. The chemicals used to fluoridate water supplies are largely by-products of the fertiliser industry.
    2. Water fluoridation cannot prevent the oral health crises that result from inadequate nutrition and lack of access to dental care.
    3. A multi million dollars US National Institute of Health NIH funded study found no relation between tooth decay and the amount of fluoride ingested by children.
    4. So if you are poor and cannot afford a water filter, your individual right to informed consent to ‘medication’ is violated.
    5. Google the 24 studies showing that there is a strong relationship between modest exposure to fluoride and reduced IQ in children.
    6. Fluoride in toothpaste is very different to drinking and it. Ingesting fluoride has been found to damage soft tissues (brain, kidneys and endocrine system) as well as bones (skeletal fluorosis) and teeth (dental fluorosis)

  5. <<>>>

    Usual hippy/leftist obsession with form over community welfare. Fluoride is only ever rejected by the same constituency of juvenile whingers and contrarians around the world.

  6. Unbelievable…what is the downside of having a poll? Councillors are elected to serve the interests of the public and they are not even willing to hear what the public says. Either I am missing something or the councillors aren’t acting on our behalf.

  7. I am dissapointed Ballina council have taken a pro-fluoride stance and they would deny the community a poll, after all its ‘everybody’s water’. The idea of mass medication is crude at the best. Especially in view of the fact that fluoride is one of the most corrosive and toxic elements know to science! However the NSW health dept’ keep on with there ‘safe and effective’ slogan dispute evidence that it is does very little if any at all to guard against tooth decay.The problem with a poll also lies in the fact that Australians have been subject to an aggressive advertising campaign (Colgate) that has lead the majority to believe that ‘Fluoride is your flossy friend’ thanks Mrs Marsh. Many will unwittingly support the addition of fluoride, to there bodies, not even vaguely aware it is indeed industrial waste. It is hugely offensive to me and others that we are denied freedom of choice, particually when it comes to what goes into our bodies! I am amazed that Australians are so complacent when it comes to this issue.

  8. It’s so frustrating to see local councils behaving like over-lords, copying the state councils who believe they are entitled to impose CSG onto an unwilling public. Fluoride is not safe, it’s not safe for babies who are bottle fed, it’s not safe for people with certain health conditions and there is enough information about the dangers to pregnant women, the elderly, people who are ill and the very young not to mention the damage to animals to have convinced some countries to reverse the fluoridation of water.

    All over the world councils are withdrawing fluoride. In 2014 in Ireland Cork County Council, Laois County Council, Cork City Council, Dublin City Council and Kerry County Council passed motions for the cessation of water fluoridation.

    Israel introduced mandatory fluoridation in 2002. On August 26, 2014, Israel officially stopped adding fluoride to its water supplies.
    According to a Ministry of Health press release statement, the reasons it ended the practice of water fluoridation are thus: “. . . There is also scientific evidence that fluoride in large amounts can lead to damage to health. When fluoride is supplied via drinking water, there is no control regarding the amount of fluoride actually consumed, which could lead to excessive consumption. Supply of fluoridated water forces those who do not so wish to also consume water with added fluoride. This approach is therefore not accepted in most countries in the world.”

    India has taken measures including installing reverse osmosis filters to take fluoride out of the water.

    In Europe under 14 million people receive artificially-fluoridated water. Those people are mainly in the UK, Ireland, Spain and Serbia.
    The first water fluoridation in Europe was in West Germany and Sweden in 1952. By mid-1962, about 1 million Europeans in 18 communities in 11 countries were receiving fluoridated water however now, many European countries have rejected water fluoridation in general. This includes: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland,[36] Scotland, Iceland, and Italy. A 2003 survey of over 500 Europeans from 16 countries concluded that “the vast majority of people opposed water fluoridation”

    Less than 1% of Japanese people have fluoridation and there is no fluoridation in China – China who will be supplying this industrial waste laced with contaminants.

    Testing on fluoride imported into USA from China showed that ‘The sodium fluoride added to US water supplies is contaminated with the toxic elements lead, tungsten and aluminum,’ the announcement from Natural News two weeks ago began, ‘Strontium and uranium were also found in substantial quantities in some samples, raising additional questions about the purity of industrial fluoride used for water fluoridation.’

    What the hell are the councils of Northern NSW thinking????

  9. So much for democracy. Thank you to Councillors Johnson and Williams for trying to gauge the will of the people. I do not want to be medicated through my drinking water. Nor do I want to water my veggies with poison or shower in it. Mass medication is a gross invasion of my human rights.

  10. This makes no sense! The Council is allowed to poison young children and babies, old people and anyone with kidney problems because they think it will help tooth decay! I think a class action must be mounted to stock this mass poisoning of our community! I tried to buy my father (he’s 94 years old) a water purifier to remove fluoride from his tap water drinking supply. What a shock to be told that the only way to remove fluoride from drinking water is to run it through an Aluminium Filter! Then the water must be re-filtered to try to remove the Aluminium, which won’t remove it all! So Council adds waste products from Aluminium smelting into our water supply disguised as Fluoride and then Aluminium has to be used to remove the fluoride again! This must be a wonderful deal for the Aluminium Industry! and we, the luckless inhabitants have to decide which is worse, Aluminium or Fluoride? Shocking that the facts aren’t listened to! Council has a right to provide a safe drinking supply not mass medicate the population and poison the very old and very young!


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