GUNDITJMARA Aboriginal Co-operative has denied it is pro-fluoride and is planning a members’ poll to determine its stance on the controversial issue.
A Victorian Government advertisement in The Standard last Friday stated the co-op was one of several agencies that supported water fluoridation in Warrnambool. “We want to distance ourselves from that statement,” chairman Brian Davis said yesterday.
“We can’t speak for community members without consulting with them.
“I know people in our organisation who are against fluoride, there are also probably people who are in favour of it.
“We need to get a genuine answer.”
Former chief executive Rod Jackson was a strong fluoride supporter, co-signing a supportive public letter with other health professionals in July.
He also wrote to the Department of Human Services outlining his position, before becoming the Victorian Aboriginal Health Services CEO.
However, Mr Davis confirmed that the lobbying was indicative of Mr Jackson’s personal opinion – and not of the co-operative’s 300-plus members.
Given the ongoing controversy over the state’s move to fluoridate Warrnambool’s water, the Gunditjmara co-op will soon poll its community.
“We will start that process at a group meeting today,” Mr Davis said.
An information sheet will be sent out to members with a return voting slip.