WITH a referendum on whether fluoride should be added to Mount Isa’s water supply fast approaching, voters have been urged by the city council to turn out in force to ensure a public decision is reached.
With 50 percent plus one of all people enrolled on the Mount Isa electoral role required for a binding result, 4500 people will need to vote.
Recent information released from office of Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney revealed that if the city voted ‘no’ in the referendum there would be no additional costs incurred by the Mount Isa City Council and decommissioning of the fluoride plant would begin.
If sufficient votes were received in support of fluoridation, the council would instruct the Mount Isa Water Board to continue plant construction at a total cost of more than $800,000, paid for by the State Government.
However, it is likely that ongoing plant maintenance and medication costs would impact the city’s ratepayers in the coming years.
It has been reported that ongoing annual costs of fluoridation would cost the city $60,000 and with an estimated 7000 households in Mount Isa, ratepayers could be facing an extra $8.57 per year on top of the current rates.
L J Hooker principal Rhonda Pengo said any rates increase in the current market would likely have a negative impact on the housing sector for both investors and tenants.
“The market has slowed dramatically since the Glencore takeover and any increase put on landlords will affect the tenant,” she said.
“At the present moment where rates in Mount Isa are considered higher than the norm… it is just another thing the tenants will have to wear.”
A single polling station will be available at the Mount Isa City Council from July 22-26 from 2pm to 4pm and on Saturday, July 27 between 8am and 6pm.