CRESWICK’S water looks set to be fluoridated.
But the rest of the Hepburn Shire will have to wait.
The Department of Human Services announced last week it planned to introduce the chemical in Ballarat water.
Creswick is the only Hepburn Shire centre connected to the fluoride-bound Ballarat system.
A spokesperson for DHS said it was likely the rest of the shire would be fluoridated, but planning was less advanced than in Ballarat.
The government has proposed that Ballarat’s water be fluoridated in the target range of .6 to 1.M.D. per litre.
DHS said it had planned to eventually fluoridate all regional water systems, but couldn’t put a time frame on the changes.
“We still haven’t put a time frame on the Ballarat and Creswick water system, so the rest of the Hepburn Shire would be a fair way off at this stage,” the spokesperson said.
Hepburn Shire Council Mayor Tim Hayes said the council wouldn’t take a stance on the issue.
“There is such a divergence of opinion that there would never by a clear outcome achieved,” Cr Hayes said.
“And most councillors wouldn’t have the expertise to vote on it.
“I certainly wouldn’t encourage council to take a stance.
“The only thing we can do as a council is make sure the State Government undertakes adequate consultation with the local people,” Cr Hayes said.
Victoria’s chief health officer Dr John Carnie said a date for when fluoridation will begin still needed to be set.
“Even if there is an announcement there is a lead-in period which can be quite a number of months…the actual process of adding fluoride to the water is an engineering process which can take some time because they’ve got to build the plant and have it commissioned and so on,” Mr Carnie said.
A Central Highlands Water spokesperson said the fluoride issue was in the hands of DHS and the water authority wasn’t responsible for making the decision.