SECRETARY of the Ballarat Trades Hall Graeme Shearer has backed calls for a referendum on the introduction of fluoride into Ballarat’s water supply.
Mr Shearer said it was necessary to have broad community consultation before such a move occurred.
“We have never tried to be experts on the benefits versus the not benefits of fluoride,” he said.
“Delegates representing unions on the Labor Council like members of the community have their own views on the advantages/disadvantages of fluoridating our water supply, however they are unanimous in their view that the people of Ballarat should decide.
“It’s simply not good enough to say what’s good for the rest of Victoria is good enough for the Ballarat community.
“The people of Ballarat are not sheep and are rightly requesting that the issue be determined in a democratic way.
“There is no doubt that the people in Ballarat have a special brand of resistance and spirit when issues like these occur, it must be something inherited from events of the past.”
Mr Shearer said Premier Steve Bracks may be right when he suggests the people of Ballarat would support the introduction of fluoride although he was personally opposed.
“He (Bracks) knows only too well that the only fair and accurate way in which the community’s wishes can be determined is to provide the opportunity for a vote to take place,” he said.
“Our local State members of Parliament must not sit on the fence.
“They must declare their views regarding whether a referendum is required.
“The community of Ballarat deserves this.”