Fluoride a hard pill to swallow

By UTE SCHULENBERG

BELLINGEN Shire councillors chewed over the fluoride debate yet again in their council meeting on Tuesday.

Having passed a motion last month to notify the director general of NSW Health that 'the council no longer wants to pursue the fluoridation of our towns' drinking water supplies', the first item on this month's agenda was its rescission.

Crs Gordon Braithwaite, Margaret Gundry and Dave Scott wanted the rescission.

Cr Braithwaite said the council was in receipt of a letter from NSW Health committing to its share of the contributions.

"The whole matter has gone too far now and it is ridiculous to say no."

Cr Jillian Cranny said she believed the council was not listening to the community and it was a matter of ethical principles.

"The majority of those who responded to our plebiscite answered 'no' to fluoridation," Cr Cranny said.

"I am speaking up for those who elected me ? if we don't listen then this is tokenism.

She said the director general had provided no proper answers to the council's questions about the presence of other heavy metals in the fluoride used.

Cr Mark Troy said the council had fulfilled its promise.

"We waited until the results of the plebiscite were in and then presented them to the director general for determination," he said.

"There have now been two-and-ahalf years of claims and counterclaims. I have always supported the referral of the matter to a more qualified body."

Cr Ralph Lynch asked why the plebiscite was held at all.

"It seems the results don't matter," Cr Lynch said.

"Seventy-six per cent of those who voted said 'no' and that was 37 per cent of the shire ? why did we bother spending the $15,000 to $18,0000 it cost?"

Cr Kerry Child said removing fluoride from water was expensive but its addition was cheap.

"There are tablets and tooth paste. I am bitterly disappointed that we did not listen to the community at our first opportunity," she said.

The rescission motion was passed 4:3.



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