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Rous Water holds back fluoridation

Water board: Rous Water councillors discuss water fluoridation in the region yesterday.
Water board: Rous Water councillors discuss water fluoridation in the region yesterday. Jay Cronan

PLANS to fluoridate Lismore, Ballina and Richmond Valley councils’ water supplies have again been put on hold, after Rous Water yesterday voted to ask NSW Health for an extension of the December deadline.

This was despite legal advice which suggested councillors had no option but to approve construction of the fluoridation plants because directives or approvals had already been issued.

But many councillors are still concerned about the possible environmental effects of putting fluoride into the water.

They want to seek advice from a ‘professional environmental toxicologist’.

Cr Phillip Silver had moved that the council go ahead with fluoridation, but the motion was lost.

“My best interpretation is that the community believes fluoride is effective, safe and they want it to occur,” he said.

But Cr Richard Staples said the process had been ‘completely polluted’.

“It’s time that we get some proper information,” he said.

Cr David Yarnall said he was also worried about the ‘flawed nature of the REF (review of environmental factors)’.

If NSW Health agrees to extend the fluoridation deadline, a report will be presented to Rous Water on the cost of hiring an environmental toxicologist to provide further information.



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