The Bundaberg Regional Council says it will have to delay projects or increase water charges if fluoridation goes ahead.
The council has failed to convince a parliamentary committee the city should be exempt from fluoride legislation, with only an extension of time recommended.
The committee was told that Bundaberg has 10 different water supplies servicing 50,000 people and the council says it is facing a $1.4 million shortfall to fluoridate each supply.
Councillor Alan Bush says the council may need to make up the shortfall by delaying other water projects like replacing ageing pipes.
“That’s the only project that I can think of off the top of my head that we could put back a couple of years but the most sensible way would be to increase the water rates by 4 per cent,” he said.
The committee’s report has recommended the council seek extra funding from the State Government, but Cr Bush says previous requests have been denied.
“If the state wants to put fluoride in our water, they should be prepared to pay for it, not our people up here,” he said.
“We’ll have to take the wrap for the State Government wanting to put fluoride in our water for the extra costs.
“The running costs alone rate to a 4 per cent increase in the water rates.”
Dr Martin Strahan made a submission to the committee on behalf of the Bundaberg Health Promotion group.
He says fluoride should be introduced and studies have shown it will have the biggest benefits for children.
“I think there’s been a lot of criticism of fluoridation in Bundaberg but very few people have spoken out about the benefits of fluoridation,” he said.
“There are very substantial benefits to be gained by fluoridating the water supply and I hope that my grandchildren would have access to water fluoridation in Bundaberg.
“It would seem that fluoridating the water supply in Bundaberg is going to cost more than almost any other council in Queensland but not withstanding that we still think that the benefits of fluoridation are so considerable that these costs should be considered.”