Fluoride Action Network

Port Macquarie-Hastings. Water war: Council rejects poll plea

Source: Port Macquarie News | May 24th, 2012
Location: Australia

FURTHER discussion on a poll about the fluoridation of the region’s water supply will not take place until after September’s local government elections.

About 120 people took their plea to hold a poll about fluoride alongside this year’s election to last night’s council meeting.

But Port Macquarie-Hastings Council general manager Tony Hayward said last night that, while it was important to gauge community opinion about fluoridation of the town’s water supply, the poll must be held at an appropriate time.

And whether a poll will be held will be determined by the town’s new council – after the local government elections on September 8.

“Having not had an elected council for more than four years, it may be considered inappropriate to table what might be deemed a significant issue for the newly elected council to manage,” Mr Hayward said. “It is more appropriate for the newly elected incoming council to consider the issue and determine whether a community poll is required.”

A poll, Mr Hayward said, could be scheduled outside of the council election.

“Even taking into consideration that the costs associated with running a poll at a later date will be greater, it is a more appropriate course of action for the newly elected council to determine whether a community poll is necessary,” Mr Hayward said.

Construction of the $1.78 million fluoridation plant at Wauchope was completed in late 2011.

It followed a directive by the NSW Ministry of Health to council in 2004 to fluoridate the Hastings district water supply.

Fluoridation of the water supply began three months ago.

The council’s administrator Neil Porter has previously said the council will not support the conduct of a poll in conjunction with the September elections.