Council defers fluoridation vote

WARDELL’S water supply could be fluoridated even without the final tick of approval from Rous Water.

At Ballina Shire Council’s meeting this week, councillors considered whether to approve fluoridation of the Marom Creek Water Treatment Plant.

Building that dosing plant would put fluoride in the water for homes in the Wardell area.

But Cr Keith Johnson said a decision should be deferred because Rous Water was hoping to get more information from a toxicologist.

“We could create a very oddball situation here,” he said. “One way or another it’s not going to be a very satisfactory situation.”

Cr Sharon Cadwallader said the council had already debated the pros and cons of fluoride.

“This is about Ballina Shire Council infrastructure,” she said.

“It’s time that we went ahead ... I think it would be a very wise decision to proceed.”

Mayor Phillip Silver said fluoride was the biggest social issue to affect the shire in recent years.

An online poll on The Northern Star’s website, which attracted more than 800 votes, found 81 per cent of people did not support the fluoridation of water.

But with two councillors absent from the meeting – Robyn Hordern and Ben Smith – Cr Silver said the issue should be deferred until everyone could vote.

Cr Peter Moore said he was happy to defer a decision on the fluoride dosing plant at Marom Creek, as long it wasn’t part of a plan to avoid the issue of fluoridation completely.

“We shouldn’t be ducking and weaving around this issue,” he said.

“We have resolved to go down this path.”

The Marom Creek fluoridation plant report will be on the agenda again at next month’s council meeting.

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