Chlo­rine crit­ics sup­port lat­est ex­pert ad­vice

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

CRIT­ICS of the de­ci­sion to in­tro­duce chlo­rine into the Dou­glas wa­ter sup­ply say they have been vindi­cated by re­cent ad­vice from in­ter­na­tional con­sul­tants in­di­cat­ing it was not nec­es­sary.

Re­tired Moss­man phar­ma­cist John Anich was among those who ar­gued chlo­rine was not the only means of guar­an­tee­ing a clean and safe wa­ter sup­ply but he says he was ig­nored by Queens­land Health.

He seized on pre­lim­i­nary re­sults from Black and Veatch which showed UV fil­tra­tion of wa­ter was a vi­able and safe al­ter­na­tive to chlo­ri­na­tion of the wa­ter sup­ply.

“I told them 18 months ago how to fil­ter wa­ter and keep it clean with­out chlo­rine,” Mr Anich said. “But (Queens­land Health) did not even turn up to the meet­ing and they were ab­sent again at the last (wa­ter ref­er­ence group) meet­ing when we were heard ex­pert opin­ion.

“The whole sys­tem needs to be changed so they lis­ten to peo­ple. I’ve lived here for 77 years. I am only a farmer, me­chanic and phar­ma­cist - I guess I’m not qual­i­fied enough to be taken se­ri­ously.”

But Queens­land Health said it was only the sec­ond time since the wa­ter group’s in­cep­tion in 2008 a rep­re­sen­ta­tive had not been able to at­tend and in­stead, se­nior of­fi­cers had ear­lier at­tended a “pro­duc­tive, half-day” meet­ing with the con­sul­tants.

Trop­i­cal Re­gional Ser­vices se­nior di­rec­tor Brad McCul­loch said at the meet­ing, Queens­land Health had re­it­er­ated it was “open” to a chlo­rine free trial.

“We look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to work with the con­sul­tants and the coun­cil in mov­ing to­wards a chlo­rine-free trial, while main­tain­ing a safe wa­ter sup­ply at all times,” Mr McCul­loch said.

“We have com­mu­ni­cated clearly with Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil that we are sup­port­ive of a chlo­rine-free trial as long as they can man­age the pub­lic health risk while do­ing so.”

Mr Anich also ac­cused the State Govern­ment of al­low­ing flu­o­ride tablets to be pre­ma­turely phased out by sup­pli­ers in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the state-wide in­tro­duc­tion of flu­o­ri­da­tion of wa­ter sup­plies. He said he de­manded an­swers af­ter stock ran out at his Moss­man phar­macy in Jan­uary 2009.

State leg­is­la­tion re­quires pub­lic wa­ter sup­pli­ers to add flu­o­ride to the wa­ter un­der its con­trol by De­cem­ber 31. CRC has de­layed its ini­tial plan to start flu­o­ri­da­tion from last week and has writ­ten to Premier Anna Bligh re­quest­ing a two year de­fer­ment.

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