Flu­o­ride de­ci­sion

Central and North Burnett Times - - LO­CAL NEWS - ❏ Sue Har­ris

RES­I­DENTS will re­mem­ber the bat­tle waged last year by flu­o­ride fight­ers against the forced ad­di­tion of the chem­i­cal to the wa­ter sup­plies at Gayn­dah, Mun­dub­bera and Monto.

Now, af­ter al­most a year of flu­o­ri­dated wa­ter, the State Gov­ern­ment has passed leg­is­la­tion putting the power back with coun­cils, al­low­ing them to make their own de­ci­sions.

And at the next North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil meet­ing, a dis­cus­sion will be held about the fu­ture of the re­gion’s flu­o­ride pro­grams.

Mayor Don Waugh said costs and the fact most of the flu­o­ri­dated wa­ter was not con­sumed by res­i­dents meant the North Bur­nett could have done with­out flu­o­ri­da­tion.

CEO Mark Pitt said the pro­gram had cost the coun­cil.

“With costs to date and look­ing at a pro-rata for the sec­ond half of this cal­en­dar year, brings an an­nual cost to the coun­cil for run­ning the flu­o­ri­da­tion sys­tem of $42,260 ex­clud­ing power,” Mr Pitt said.

When the gov­ern­ment was elected one of the first de­ci­sions made by the coun­cil was to re­quest a meet­ing with Health Min­is­ter Lawrence Spring­borg to dis­cuss stop­ping the ad­di­tion of flu­o­ride. But no re­sponse was re­ceived.

Mr Spring­borg said months of de­bate had con­vinced the gov­ern­ment to re-es­tab­lish a role for lo­cal au­thor­i­ties.

Al­though still un­con­vinced by the ar­gu­ments of flu­o­ride fight­ers in the gen­eral pub­lic and within the party, the LNP de­cided to end the leg­isla­tive re­quire­ment for flu­o­ri­da­tion.

“Whilewe con­tinue to ad­vo­cate for the in­clu­sion of flu­o­ride, we re­tain a strong philo­soph­i­cal com­mit­ment to lo­cal de­ci­sion-mak­ing,” Mr Spring­borg said.

■ Would you like to see a coun­cil ref­er­en­dum on this is­sue? Let us knowat sue.har­ris@cnbtimes.com.au.

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