- Director of Oral Health for the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service Dr. Malcolm Donaldson believes adding fluoride to Cairns' drinking water will prevent tooth decay. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
“Through the Our Cairns surveys, we have now heard from nearly 6800 people in our community on this issue,” Mayor Bob Manning said in a statement. “The survey clearly shows that the community remains split on putting fluoride back into the water supply. With 48 per cent for and 38 per cent against, there is no overwhelming community support either for or against. “Our Cairns also, for the first time, told us why people are opposed. The overwhelming majority of those who oppose fluoride truly believe that ingesting it will harm their physical health in some way.
“When you read the comments, you come to realise the depth of their convictions on this issue and there is no doubt they will not shift in their position.
“It is also clear that fluoride is a State issue and if you believe that children in this state have poorer oral health than others, surely it’s time for Queensland Health to take responsibility for this issue as it does for other public health matters. “But even if the State Government took back the responsibility of fluoride, it would be faced with the same issue we have been – that being gaining the express consent of a significant majority of the community.
“That being the case, it is clear that Queensland Health needs to identify other ways that fluoride could be delivered to those most in need of improved oral health care outcomes.”