TWO Bundaberg citizens have organised a public meeting for this Thurday to discuss the facts of fluoridation.
Matt Griffiths and Mitchell Faint have organised the evening session, with two pro-fluoride health professionals heading the meeting, and are inviting members of the community to attend.
The announcement came as Bundaberg Mayor Mal Forman revealed more details about the council’s fluoridation forum due to be held on January 31.
“We have invited two speakers for fluoride from the Bundaberg and District Local Medical Association as well as have arranged for two speakers against fluoride,” Cr Forman said.
Cr Forman announced Dr John Ryan and Merilyn Haines would be speaking against fluoride. The two pro-fluoride speakers were not named yesterday.
He emphasised that both sides of the argument would be heard.
“Each speaker will have 15 minutes to speak and I will contribute a short address on council’s perspective on the issue as well as having an independent moderator to chair the forum,” he said.
Cr Forman said he had not been made aware of, nor invited to this week’s, meeting but would be very interested in hearing the views of those present.
Mr Griffiths said of Thursday’s session that it was not designed to be a debate, but an information night.
Although he welcomed people with differing views expected them to behave in a civil manner.
“I want this to be a calm discussion without any abuse,” Mr Griffiths said.
“This will be a thoughtful discussion on fluoridation with a question-and-answer session.”
Mr Griffiths said the main aim of the meeting was that people who were undecided on the issue heard the facts instead of all the myths.
“Hopefully we can have some of these myths dispelled,” he said.
Speaking at Mr Griffiths’ and Mr Faint’s event will be Bundaberg Health Promotions chairman Martin Strahan and Australian Dental Association Bundaberg branch representative Cathy Speight who last month co-signed a letter to Cr Forman, along with other signatories asking council “to take a positive lead in implementing this important health initiative.”
Mr Griffiths said he hoped the fluoridation issue would be taken out of council’s hands and given back to Queensland Health.
“Council should be involved in rates and roads but should keep their nose out of health,” he said.
Mr Griffith said he was still hopeful of having a Queensland Health representative attend the meeting.
The pro-fluoride meeting will start at 7pm on Thursday at Bundaberg Health Promotions building.
The council’s fluoridation forum will be held on January 31 at 6.30pm at the Civic Centre.