Fluoride set for Bellingen water

By UTE SCHULENBERG

BELLINGEN councillors Jillian Cranny and Ralph Lynch attempted once again to halt the introduction of fluoride into the shire's town water supplies at Tuesday's council meeting.

In what proved to be a lost cause, Cr Cranny moved the council advise they did not want to pursue the additive program as directed by the NSW Department of Health.

"When this decision was before us, we did not have all the information," Cr Cranny said.

"Plus in the plebiscite, the majority of respondents voted against the introduction of fluoride there should be another plebiscite."

At the time, in September 2004, 38 per cent of shire residents responded with 71 per cent rejecting fluoridation.

The NSW Department of Health deemed this 'inconclusive' because 62 per cent of the population did not respond.

Cr Lynch said he did not believe the results of the plebiscite were handled properly.

"The majority of those who voted, voted against this," he said.

"I constantly receive feedback that we take no notice of what people want. There should be a proper democratic vote at the council elections next September."

Cr Mark Troy said the plebiscite had been conducted as requested.

"This council never pushed for the addition of fluoride, the department directed us to."

With only Crs Cranny, Lynch and Kerry Child voting for the motion, the motion was lost.

Building work has not yet begun on the two new fluoride plants to be located in Bellingen and Dorrigo.

Shire engineer, Mike Edsall, said the government's own designs were still awaiting departmental approvals.

"But we have been told the final tick is imminent and we anticipate calling tenders sometime after mid-January," Mr Edsall said.



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