MACKAY Regional Council will decide on the future of water fluoridation in the region in just over a week.
The council issued a statement this morning, confirming the vote will be decided at its next monthly Ordinary Meeting on September 28.
Meanwhile, the council has reminded residents time is running out for them to have their say on the future of the practice in the local government area.
A poll is being conducted on the council’s Connecting Mackay engagement portal.
The poll asks whether residents support or oppose adding fluoride to the public water supply.
Mayor Greg Williamson urged the community to have their say before the decision is made.
“We really want to get a clear indication of how our community views the fluoridation debate,” he said.
At time of publication 171 people had registered and voted, with 124 voting ‘no’ and 47 supporting water fluoridation.
The poll closes tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday) at 5pm, with results set to be tabled at the September 28 meeting.
The engagement portal poll compliments the community forum held last Wednesday and a council-wide “random telephone survey of 1000 people, due to be conducted by company ReachTEL
“As a council we want to have as many tools at our disposal to reach a decision that is reflective of the community,” Cr Williamson said.
The council vote comes just weeks after the release of a new research review report by the National Health and Medical Research Council.
It asserts: “There is no evidence that water fluoridation within the current Australian range is associated with any negative health effects”.
The report unequivocally backs water fluoridation in Australia and says its “effective in reducing the occurrence and severity of tooth decay”.
Water fluoridation in Mackay
- Mackay Regional Council says fluoride was first added to the Mackay water supply in 2009, after the Queensland Government made it mandatory for any town with a population of more than 1000 people.
- It was added to the Sarina supply in 2010 and placed in the Marian/Mirani supply in late 2014, after the construction of a new water treatment plant in Marian.
- In 2012, the LNP Government made it optional for councils to fluoridate public water supplies.