A SINGLE vote has swung a decision for Toowoomba to continue its water fluoridation program at Mt Kynoch.
The resolution came down to the wire as each member of council’s water and waste committee made a conscience vote on the issue yesterday.
Toowoomba dentist Dr Rob Sivertsen applauded the choice, but was shocked the treatment plant’s existing $1.02 million fluoridation infrastructure came so close to abandonment.
“My main concern with those five against is that I’m not sure there was adequate consultation with recognised experts in the field,” he said.
The program’s continuation means 80 per cent of Toowoomba residents will continue to receive the recommended dose, though none within the city centre.
Oddly enough, City Hall itself receives no fluoridated water as it relies on bores for its supply.
The decision will need ratification by a full meeting of council on Tuesday before it is set in stone.
Cr Sue Englart said scare tactics from anti-fluoride campaigners were rife throughout the decision process.
“We have many Luddites that continue to believe the world is flat… It still seems easier to peddle fear than it is to sell the truth,” she said.
Dr Sivertsen met with four councillors prior to yesterday’s vote – Mayor Paul Antonio, Cr Chris Tait, Cr John Gouldson and Cr Nancy Sommerfield.
“I (also) met with (Minister for Health) Lawrence Springborg on Saturday evening,” he said.
“He is basically supportive of the maintenance of the status quo
“In other words, if there is existing water fluoridation, he doesn’t want it removed.”
Councillors voting on either side were exasperated that the decision was ever theirs to make.
Dr Sivertsen echoed the sentiment.
“Issues related to public health measures need to be delivered at either the Federal or State Government level,” he said.
The cost of continuing the program at Mt Kynoch is estimated at $10,000 a year – $8000 for chemicals and $2000 for operations.
Fluoride will not be extended to outer districts where infrastructure is not already in place, saving an estimated $70,000 a year.
- Mayor Paul Antonio
- Cr Sue Englart
- Cr John Gouldson
- Cr Geoff McDonald
- Cr Carol Taylor
- Cr Chris Tait
- Cr Bill Cahill
- Cr Anne Glasheen
- Cr Ros Scotney
- Cr Nancy Sommerfield
- Cr Mike Williams