MOUNT Isa City Council is the odd one out in the state’s fluoride debate – the only Queensland council yet to make a decision on medicating the city’s water supply.
Fourteen regional councils in Queensland have opted to remove fluoride from its water supply, but the Mount Isa City Council is yet to decide on whether it will go ahead with, or abandon, fluoridation.
Rockhampton recently became the 14th council to opt against fluoride, after seeking advice from Queensland Health and the Dental Association.
Cloncurry Regional Council is amongst those opting to go without fluoride and Mayor Andrew Daniels said the decision was based on both health and finances.
“We decided not to because of the ongoing cost and the councillors took the view that we should not force this on anyone, they can go out and buy toothpaste if they want it,” Cr Daniels said.
Cr Daniels said they engaged the community in the decision by creating online forums and a mass mail-out.
Mount Isa Mayor Tony McGrady said the council is still waiting for financial clarification regarding works already completed on the plant.
Cr McGrady said the outcome of who is responsible for the cost already incurred from the installation of the fluoride plant will play a large part in the decision.
“It’s not just a financial issue, but when we are trying to keep the rates down, then the matter of $200,000 is a big issue,” he said.
Cr McGrady said he personally identifies as pro-fluoride, but said he understands and respects the stance taken by the anti-fluoride community members.
“I respect their opinions, but I have spoken to Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young on numerous occasions and she advises that not providing fluoride would adversely affect people’s heath I have to take that into consideration,” he said.