The Charters Towers Mayor says he is happy to continue the debate on whether or not to fluoridate the town’s drinking water if he feels the community is interested.
The Queensland Government announced in Tuesday’s state budget that it would no longer make a fluoridation program mandatory.
Frank Beveridge says while adding fluoride to local drinking water will not be a council priority, he will continue to discuss the options with interested parties.
“You’ve got to be very careful, there’s always a vocal minority on it and we’ve got to look at the health of the entire community, not just one person, so we have to have a balanced view and not a kneejerk reaction to any particular group who is for it or against it,” he said.
“Obviously people are very angry against having fluoride in their water but I’ve got a lot of emails and letters on my desk saying it’s a very good thing, so of course it’s a very emotive issue and people are a lot louder when they’re saying no than when they’re saying yes.”
The state Member for Dalrymple, Shane Knuth, says while he is glad the fluoridation program has been dropped, it was unfair of the Newman Government to put so much pressure on local councils to comply with the plan.
“Talking about saving money but here they were forcing something that many communities didn’t want and it was going to be a cost factor, especially Charters Towers, not just the implementation but you’re looking at $100,000 a year cost to keep the fluoridation treatment going,” he said.