Wa­ter is­sue spills

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - ❏ Ge­orge Smith

A PE­TI­TION against flu­o­ri­dated drink­ing­wa­ter is tak­ing Monto’s main street by storm.

The con­tro­ver­sial is­sue has sparked heated de­bate across the North Bur­nett.

Monto Res­i­dents and Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jack Muller said his group had been cam­paign­ing against flu­o­ri­da­tion since it was in­tro­duced this year.

“We tried to push the is­sue at this year’s lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions, but the can­di­dates against flu­o­ride were not elected,” Mr Muller said.

“The coun­cil goes along with gov­ern­ment pol­icy rather than the views of lo­cal resi- dents so that is why we are run­ning this pe­ti­tion to send to the State Gov­ern­ment.”

Mr Muller said if enough voices against flu­o­ride were heard the gov­ern­ment should take note and act.

But North Bur­nett Mayor Don Waugh said while he didn’t hold much hope the coun­cil would move a mo­tion to re­move flu­o­ride from Monto’s wa­ter sup­ply.

“We are putting it in the wa­ter, but with so many peo­ple hav­ing (wa­ter) tanks it would be waste of money if peo­ple are us­ing town wa­ter for uses other than drink­ing,” Cr Waugh said.

“Par­ents can eas­ily give flu­o­ride tablets to their chil­dren in the right amount.

“(But) un­for­tu­nately, we are bound by State Gov­ern­ment leg­is­la­tion to keep the flu­o­ride plant in op­er­a­tion.”

CrWaugh said leg­is­la­tion from the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment did not give peo­ple a say and money spent on flu­o­ri­dat­ing wa­ter could be bet­ter spent.

“The peo­ple of the North Bur­nett are our num­ber one con­cern, but we do have to abide by this leg­is­la­tion and there are many peo­ple who sup­port flu­o­ri­dated wa­ter,” he said.

“I did think the new State Gov­ern­ment would over­turn the flu­o­ride leg­is­la­tion, but now I don’t think there will be much chance of that.

“How­ever, we will keep try­ing. Ac­tions taken by the new State Gov­ern­ment have given author­ity back to lo­cal gov­ern­ment but not on this is­sue.”

Cr Waugh said the coun­cil was seek­ing a meet­ing with Health Min­is­ter Lawrence Spring­borg, to push to re­move flu­o­ride leg­is­la­tion.

Mun­dub­bera and Gayn­dah are also on flu­o­ri­dated wa­ter and have been for most of this year.

More than 60 sig­na­tures have been added to the Monto pe­ti­tion so far.

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