Batt calls for fluoride funding
BUNDABERG MP David Batt says the addition of fluoride in the region's water supplies should be funded by the Queensland Government and not council.
His comments come after Health Minister Steven Miles called for Bundaberg Regional Council to add fluoride to the water "for the sake of the children".
The issue surfaced again last week after the Australian Medical Association of Queensland said children in regional areas without fluoride were missing out.
Th eAMAQ called for the state and local governments to get beyond the political impasse over who would fit the bill.
Mr Batt disagreed with Mr Miles's comment that adding fluoride was "the cheapest and most effective way of providing oral health benefits ...".
He said the costs to fluoridate Bundaberg's drinking water would only be a burden on ratepayers.
"The Health Minister has stated the implementation is "very cheap", however, the cost to implement fluoride in Bundaberg is much higher than other cities, due to water supply coming from multiple sources, not just one," Mr Batt told the NewsMail on Friday.
"Fluoridation as part of preventative dental care remains a health issue and the State Government should be assisting council by appropriately funding the implementation and ongoing costs associated with it.
"I don't believe it is fair for this extra cost to be put onto our ratepayers."
The NewsMail sought comment from Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey on whether council would consider footing the costs.
A spokesperson said the issue was "not currently before council for consideration".
Mr Batt said he would support a council decision to fluoridate drinking water supplies.
"I, along with the LNP, supports the advice of health authorities that endorse fluoride treatment," he said.