Flu­o­ride still de­bated

Central and North Burnett Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

THE Fed­eral Govern­ment has dis­missed a push to force the North Bur­nett to re-add flu­o­ride to it wa­ter sup­ply.

Health Min­is­ter Tanya Plibersek has heard from six peak health bod­ies call­ing on the depart­ment to force coun­cils to em­brace the scheme.

North Bur­nett Coun­cil (NBRC) re­moved flu­o­ride from Gayn­dah, Mun­dub­bera and Monto wa­ter sup­plies on March 29.

Coun­cil­lors unan­i­mously

“There is clear ev­i­dence that, on bal­ance, flu­o­ri­da­tion is very good for oral and den­tal health.”

voted to dis­con­tinue the ad­di­tion of flu­o­ride based on com­mu­nity feed­back, in­clud­ing a pe­ti­tion re­ceived by NBRC on June 7, 2011.

Af­ter it was first man­dated by the for­mer Queens­land La­bor govern­ment, the newly elected LNP govern­ment gave coun­cils the fi­nal say.

NBRC was joined by South Bur­nett, Fraser Coast, Cairns and Doomadgee coun­cils in re­mov­ing flu­o­ride.

National Ru­ral Health Al­liance – which has 34 mem­ber or­gan­i­sa­tions in­clud­ing the Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice – called for the Fed­eral Govern­ment to di­rectly in­ter­vene.

NRHA ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Gor­don Gre­gory likened flu­o­ri­dated wa­ter to seat­belts in terms of so­cial ben­e­fit.

“There is clear ev­i­dence that, on bal­ance, flu­o­ri­da­tion is very good for oral and den­tal health and it has a great eq­uity about it,” he said.

“Aside from vis­its to pri­vate den­tists, it reaches the poor­est and worst-off peo­ple in the com­mu­nity.

“The science shows it will pro­tect the next gen­er­a­tion of kids.”

North Bur­nett mayor Don Waugh said flu­o­ride was a waste due to high lev­els of rain­wa­ter tank us­age across the re­gion.

“The flu­o­ri­dated wa­ter was be­ing used for wash­ing cars and wa­ter­ing the lawn,” Cr Waugh said.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the Health Min­is­ter said it was up to the Queens­land Govern­ment to step in be­cause it was the one re­spon­si­ble for al­low­ing com­mu­ni­ties to re­move it.

Ms Plibersek’s of­fice re­leased fig­ures show­ing for ev­ery dol­lar spent on adding flu­o­ride to wa­ter, the sav­ings in health care ranged be­tween $12 and $80 de­pend­ing on the health of the com­mu­nity.

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