DOOMADGEE Shire Council is one of the first in the North West to have made a decision about fluoridated water, while Mount Isa City Council remains sitting on the fence.
The council announced last week the decision had been made not to fluoridate the town’s water supply, stating the reasoning as not being in the best interests of the community.
Doomadgee Mayor Fred O’Keefe said council members decided against fluoridation in the water system for both health and maintenance reasons.
“We were dead set against it from the start,” he said. “We don’t want it is it’s going to affect the men, the women and pregnant women and babies, we weren’t told much about fluoridation up here and nobody’s done studies on it.”
“Another concern we have is the maintenance side of it, we have a system in place at the water treatment plant and it costs a lot of money to fix if it breaks.”
Cr O’Keefe said all communities should say no to fluoride because it would affect the entire community.
“A lot of government people have come up with these ideas but they don’t realise the burden they’ve put on councils,” he said.
The announcement said the effective date of ceasing fluoridation would be March 1.
Mount Isa Mayor Tony McGrady said on Friday no mention had been made of the fluoride issue within the Mount Isa City Council since the onus was shifted to local governments to make the decision.
“There has been no change by the council, what I’ve said before is we need answers to questions,” he said. “It’s not been on the council agenda and we don’t have any intent to mention it until we get those answers, such as the potential cost to ratepayers.”
Cr McGrady said Mount Isa was a different circumstance in that the water board controlled water treatment and had already completed some works toward fluoridation before the government decision was made.
He said for the council to now halt proceedings could cost upwards of $100,000 and the council would need to assess the finances of the decision, as well as community opinion, before proceeding.
Note from FAN: See the tragic situation that exists in Doomadgee, Town being torn apart by suicide ‘epidemic’, reported by ABC News in 2012.