Tathra local Greg Otton spoke out at the recent council meeting against the fluoridation of the shire’s water supplies, but also what he sees is the destruction of the region’s pristine natural gifts. An excerpt of an opinion piece he has submitted is below. Greg’s views do not necessarily represent those of Fairfax, but we put this forward as a topic for readers to discuss.
There are so many precious gems that the Sapphire Coast provides us with. Especially the life giving pristine water supplies of the Kiah, Tantawangalo, Brogo Dam catchments and the Bega Aquifer. The many natural gifts of this area are all being destroyed, mismanaged or are under threat by the bureaucratic decisions usually in the name of the dollar, progress, growth or just pure greedy stupidity.
Let me list the gems I have personally seen decimated by humanity’s greed, lust and plain stupidity. I lost over 50% of my oyster leases to siltation yet my voice went unheard, I was ridiculed by successive councillors of this shire.
I have worked for over 35 years in the once lucrative abalone industry. Worth at one time $35million to the Far South Coast. A line in the sand on Cape Howe divides a 22 tonne Victorian quota from a 2 tonne NSW quota, same water, same seasons, just different management.
The tuna industry was decimated in a few years by greed and mismanagement.
The timber industry’s once thriving saw mills all but gone. The chip mill is in its death throws after destroying the south-east forests and silting up major rivers and coastal estuaries.
The famous Pambula river mouth surf break is all but gone due to development of its catchment.
The millions of dollars spent by the dairy industry on noxious weeds and pests within the shire.
The decimation of migrating birds from the other side of the world by foxes and cats along our local beaches.
How much do we pay for Bega Cheese with irrigation draining our rivers, nutrient runoff and toxic chemicals used by farming?
The 15km of gravel shire roads that are graded each day using dubious practices with limited siltation runoff protections.
The wanton development of coastal villages. Do they end in the next town or the next shire?
What is the exact purpose for the shark buoy in Merimbula bay? Does the government think this will really help the shark menace that is rapidly escalating along our coast?
More attacks will come just as I predicted and warned the swimmer that was taken in Tathra. Do not call her death the result of a three metre Bronze Whaler. It was an eight to nine metre Great White that killed her, it has lurked along our coast now for years and utilises the best location in Tathra bay as its dominance over many others.
National parks and fisheries have withheld knowledge of Great White activity from local surfers for some stupid reason.
I have 35 years’ experience in the abalone industry and 55 years surfing, it could be said I am a world class waterman and surf coach. Having raised and trained my son Kai to world championship status. Yet my experience and expertise goes unheard.
This tourist based coastal activity with the ocean will die an instant death when the inevitable attacks increase in the very near future.
Greed, Stupidity and Mismanagement is at the basis of our everyday decision making, I do not understand how gambling and alcohol can be called an industry and why alcohol is sold by the two monopoly food outlets. Do Coles and Woolworths class it as food now?
Then there is the most precious gem of all, life giving pure water!
In the same week as council is going to decide on increasing fluoridation of our water supply to shire wide, I witnessed in Tathra the all too familiar sight in Francis Hollis Drive of council staff venting water out of the mains, turning the grass a pale yellow.
For years now I have witnessed this ritual in Tathra as well as along Tathra River Estate and Mogareeka.
Is there a problem with the water supply?
What are the standards and quality of the pipeline system?
How does council take pristine world class drinking water out of the environment of Bega Valley Shire and turn it green, brown, blue, smelly, undrinkable, toxic and potentially very damaging to our health?
Is this council therefore capable of delivering a schedule 6 poison – that is fluoride – to us in what is laughably called a “safe dose”.
The federal government is not above the constitution as our deputy prime minister can attest.
So why can a local council force its citizens to engage in civil conscription via a fluoridation program when section 51: 23a of the Australian constitution clearly states it is prohibited to do so?
Why can a group of elected representatives who along with council staff, who are basically working for the residents and rate payers of the shire, dictate the delivery of a poison into our bodies and lives via a controlled water supply?
This very same water supply they cannot guarantee the safety of and quality of and are economically challenged to upgrade and even discuss the status of delivery of water with the residents.
How can Andrew Constance MP, Member for Bega, be the state’s minister in charge of billions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure yet he has no power to influence his own recommendation to first compare his constituents in the Bega Valley electorate that are on fluoridated and non-fluoridated supplies? Before introducing more fluoridation to the shire’s entire water systems?
Greed Stupidity and Mismanagement can be the only reason the member for Bega’s recommendation is not implemented. It is not rocket science, is there a difference between the long-term residents within the shire?
In 1963 Mumbulla shire introduced fluoride into Bermagui water supply. It was rejected by the residents after three months and has not been used since.
I would very much like to know exactly why the NSW health department is encouraging a group of elected representatives with obviously little or no knowledge of the scientific ramifications of a schedule 6 poison in our water supply.
Council has taken very little indicated regard for the advice and knowledge of world class scientists and the fact that dozens of European countries do not use fluoridation.
If it is so important to have a schedule 6 poison in our system, should not the state or federal government legislate for this.
I can only assume if it is left up to a dozen local people to decide the health and well-being of their community the political decision making can only be another form of greed stupidity and mismanagement.
Then there is my personal battle with skeletal fluorosis that will cost me many thousands of dollars. I have been a Bega-Tathra resident most of my 63 years, utilising the water supplied by council. I am now in the process of seeking help for spinal nerve damage caused by a calcium spur that threatens my mobility and lifestyle.
I know residents, rate payers and friends who are constitutional barristers, medical indemnity barristers, retired world class journalists, scientists, activists, sport and business people many of whom love and support me in my endeavours to get justice.
I have studied health and science all my life. Influencing the space and weapons scientists with my patented concepts for health which are now used in the space station to maintain the health of astronauts.
I wrote a speech on child health, for China’s “living treasure” doctor for the World Health Organisation.
The Dalai Lama and his Tibetan doctors say I will glow brighter than the sun with my knowledge. I study with and advise the “Royal Physicians of India” on a regular basis.
I have a great knowledge of health and try to maintain good health at all times, I know my health has been compromised from Bega-Tathra water supply and time will prove me correct.
All my life I have maintained a very high standard of health and fitness, overcoming several life-threatening works related injuries.
There is no history of skeletal damage or arthritis in my family and I am the only one to have consistently ingested Bega-Tathra water. All my symptoms express the presence of skeletal fluorosis.
I will be taking severe legal action if it is proven I have been poisoned by Bega-Tathra water, and I can only assume a large class action will follow my claim.