Rous Water has threatened anti-fluoride critic Al Oshlack with legal sanctions if he continues to speak against the the fluoridation of the region’s water supply.
The threat comes as Ballna shire councillor Jeff Johnson has announced he will lodge a notice of motion at next week’s council meeting calling for a community poll on fluoridation.
Lismore resident Al Oshlack, who took unsuccessful legal action against Rous Water, received an email from international legal firm Asher on behalf of Rous Water, asserting that he had breached a costs agreement that prevented him from ‘commencing, advocating or advising’ any person or group from commencing legal action against Rous.
A defiant Mr Oshlack said he would not curtail his role in the growing community disquiet over the imminent commencement of fluoride dosing in the Lismore water supply.
‘There is no way I have been in breach of the costs agreement and this email to me is an example of Rous Water and its legal team squandering the ratepayers money to silence critics of fluoridation.
‘This is the same legal team who gave the false advice that led to Cr David Yarnell changing his vote to give the three non Lismore Council delegates on Rous Water the majority to bring in fluoride.
‘It disgusts me that these lawyers have not been sacked but instead are given further rate payer funded work to harass me.
‘This legal firm Asher are truly one of the most expensive in the country with a pedigree of high flying corporate, developer and mining clients.
‘As far as I am concerned this fluoride caper is a con and a scam and I’ll keep going to stop Lismore being fluoridated, even if it means to shut down if necessary the whole NSW fluoride industry.
‘The views on fluoridation as expressed by our so called local government leaders Mayor Jenny Dowell and Councillor Sue Meahen are pitiful, anti democratic and lack intellectual vigour.
‘I have challenged them to debate me anyhow, anytime or anywhere but I am greeted with silence.
‘These two councillors without a mandate, are happy to steamroll the decisions on fluoride yet are too cowardly to allow the community any say in the matter.’
Meanwhile, Cr Jeff Johnson said the fluoridation of Ballina’s water supply would cost $100,000 a year, despite less than 1 per cent of the water actually being used for drinking.
‘At this week’s council meeting I’m again asking the councillors to support a community poll at the next local government election to determine whether the majority of residents are in favour of adding fluoride to the water,’ he said.
‘The cost of such a poll would be approximately $15,000. For a small increase to this cost council could ask other important questions.
‘What better way to conduct a comprehensive survey of local residents?
‘Surely the results would be more accurate than the last poll Council conducted to support the recent rate increase (Micromex survey of 500 people which had a similar cost)
‘If the outcome of the poll is that the majority of residents don’t want fluoride added to the water supply, then the next council should take all necessary actions to remove it.
‘While I’m personally against the fluoridation of Ballina’s water supply I feel that for controversial issues such as this, it is important that residents have an opportunity to decide whether they want fluoride added to the drinking water or not, rather than a handful of councillors.’