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UK Against Fluoridation

Friday, May 05, 2017

Australia - Fluoridation debate

Fluoridation debate far from clear with petitions to council, closed door meetings



The divisive nature of water fluoridation was put in stark relief this week for Bega Valley residents.
On Tuesday, petitions containing an estimated 2000 signatures of residents against adding fluoride to the shire’s drinking water were presented to the council.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday councillors were reportedly meeting with representatives from NSW Health to discuss benefits of fluoride, but did so behind closed doors.
While that decision is understandable given the shouting match that would likely occur if such a discussion was open to the public, questions are being asked as to the transparency and trustworthiness of the community consultation process to date.
Fraser Buchanan from the Bega Valley Residents and Ratepayers Association said having a closed meeting over a “major and highly controversial public health decision” gave him and his association “no confidence” in the council’s process.
He also questioned the role of Hunter H2O in the community consultation given it was also a company tasked with installing fluoridation systems he claimed.
“No wonder there’s a lack of trust [on this issue],” Mr Buchanan said.
The council has previously said that while Hunter is a multi-disciplinary water company, as the successful tenderer to develop and administer the council’s fluoride “Have Your Say” submissions website, it did so in a “professional and ethical” manner.
A reported 330 submissions from the public were received by Hunter H2O during the consultation period.
Mr Buchanan said a petition by the Clean Water For Life group had 1400 signatures, while one organised by Dorte Planert of Tathra had a further 300, and Rob Slazenger of Bermagui also organised a separate petition that had 320 signatures.
All were presented to the council on Tuesday (it’s not known whether the same signatories appear on multiple petitions).
Council is considering adding fluoride to the Tantawanglo-Kiah and Brogo-Bermagui water supply systems as part of upgrading its infrastructure.

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