Ballina to proceed with fluoridation


BALLINA Shire's water supply will one day have fluoride added to it after the council, for a second time, voted in support of fluoridation.

Yesterday's decision, which will add Ballina Shire's population to 96% of NSW, pleased Ballina dentist Dr Stephen Enright.

"They (councillors) made the right decision for the long-term interests of the community in Ballina Shire," he said.

"Fluoridation targets everyone. It particularly helps a core group - those who are most vulnerable, like children."

Ballina's mayor, David Wright who told the council he was personally against fluoridation, this time put his hand up in support of the move "because council has made a decision", referring to the support of fluoridation in 2006.

"People have an expectation that we should be doing this," he said.

"We've gone too far in lots of ways to let our community down."

He said the "council should never have been put in a position to make this decision".

The issue was brought back to the council by Cr Keith Williams, who wanted to reverse the decision to add fluoride to the drinking water.

In a 25-minute speech, he said his main beef was fluoridation of the water supply went against the notion of "informed consent", arguing, with reference to a Harvard University study, that there must be some risks associated with fluoride.

However, he said he did not "dispute the benefits of fluoridation".

Dr Brendan White, president of the Far North Coast division of the Australian Dental Association, in his deputation to council, asked whether those against fluoridation were "entitled to impose the risks, damage and costs of failure to fluoridate on the community at large".

Cr Ben Smith said he was surprised the matter was on the table after nearly 12 months of this term of council and the expense of about $200,000 through Rous Water on court costs associated with proposed fluoride dosing plants.

After Cr Williams could only find support for his motion from Cr Jeff Johnson, it was Cr Sharon Cadwallader who proposed the motion to advise Rous Water that Ballina council had "reaffirmed" its support of fluoridation. The council will write to the State Government "requesting a direction" in regard to the implementation of adding fluoride to the water supply.

Next month Lismore City Council will debate a rescission motion on its decision last week to not fluoridate.



BALLINA Shire Council has voted to proceed with plans to fluoridate its water supply.

Councillors this morning debated a motion from Cr Keith Williams to reverse the council's position on fluoridation, following a similar decision by Lismore City Council last week.

But the motion was defeated 8-2.

It means the council will continue with its fluoridation plans.

The council will advise Rous that it reaffirms its support for fluoridation, and it will also write to the State Government requesting a direction in respect to the implementation of fluoride in Ballina's water supply.

Ballina dentist Stephen Enright said the councillors had "made the right decision for the long term interests of the Ballina Shire".

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