News

Council farewells adding fluoride

FLUORIDE will be a thing of the past in the South Burnett.

Councillors this week voted unanimously to rid the Kingaroy, Murgon, Wondai, Nanango and Blackbutt town water supplies of fluoride, primarily as a cost-saving measure.

Cr Barry Green said the move made sense financially.

"Almost every household across the South Burnett drinks tank water," he said. "(And that) means the $180,000 we spend each year on fluoridation is being wasted on washing the car or watering the garden.

"It is fiscally stupid of us to provide a service no one wants or uses."

Cr Green said a survey of Kingaroy's town water two years ago provided the council with the view residents did not like the taste or smell of the town water and preferred to drink tank water.

"And I bet if you conducted the same survey in Nanango, you would get the same answer," he said.

Cr Cheryl Dalton said although she didn't always agree with Cr Green, on this occasion she did.

"I wholeheartedly agree we shouldn't waste any more money on fluoridating the water," she said.

"It is something the community should decide on, not the State Government or council."

Cr Damien Tessmann told the meeting he had posted a request on social networking site Facebook for comments on the subject and up to 40 people had commented, all agreeing council should vote to take fluoride out of town water.

He said he believed the community was behind the council's decision and it was up to individuals to make their own health decisions.

Under the previous State Government Water Fluoridation Act 2008, local councils were forced to add the chemical to public potable water supplies.

It was something Cr Keith Campbell said the council was not happy to have to introduce.

"From a financial perspective, it will be very beneficial for (the) council to make this saving," he said.

The councillors agreed to the officer's recommendation but said they wanted the second condition to be removed.

This condition stated after a treatment process to improve the taste and odour asthetics of town water, a further report would be prepared for the council.

This would allow it to reconsider the addition of fluoride to the potable drinking water.

"If we don't remove this clause we are committing a future council to something they may or may not wish to pursue," Cr Green said.

The termination of fluoride in town water will come into effect March 1.

South Burnett

Topics:  fluoride, south burnett, south burnett regional council



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