Minister for HealthThe Honourable Stephen Robertson
Sunday, October 05, 2008
5 October 2008
Southeast Queensland fluoridation program on track
Works to ensure Southeast Queensland’s major water treatment plants provide fluoridated water by December are well advanced, Health Minister Stephen Robertson said today.
Mr Robertson visited Wacol in Brisbane’s west today to inspect fluoride units earmarked for the fluoridation rollout.
“The fabrication of the five priority fluoride units for Southeast Queensland (SEQ) is more than 50 per cent complete,” he said.
“All five priority sites have been prepared for the start of construction, with the first of the larger fluoride units on schedule due to be transported to Mt Crosby for installation by the end of the month.
“The good news today is the SEQ program remains on track to deliver fluoridated water from December this year.’’
The SEQ rollout is part of the Bligh Government’s $35 million program to provide fluoridated water to the vast majority of Queenslanders by 2012.
Mr Robertson said the first phase of the SEQ program would include upgrades to:
·Mt Crosby (x 2) and North Pine covering Greater Brisbane;
·Landers Shute on the Sunshine Coast; and
·Molendinar and Mudgeeraba on the Gold Coast.
The remaining SEQ plants will be upgraded by the end of 2009.
The SEQ Fluoride Program is being managed by new bulk water authority Seqwater on behalf of the State Government.
“Fluoridation is a safe, effective and proven preventative against tooth decay and I am committed to ensuring that future generations of Queenslanders will reap the benefits,” Mr Robertson said.
“A 1996 study in Townsville showed a significant difference in the levels of tooth decay in children, with Townsville kids having about 40 per cent less tooth decay than Brisbane children.
“Water fluoridation has overwhelming support by all the major medical and dental bodies here and overseas, including the World Health Organisation, the Australian Dental Association and the Australian Medical Association.”
Mr Robertson said water fluoridation would also be phased into water treatment plants in the following local government areas:
• 2009: SEQ minor water treatment plants, Indigenous communities, commencement of Cairns, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton and Toowoomba;
• 2010: Completion of Cairns, Gladstone, Mackay and Rockhampton; Fraser, Gympie, Somerset, South Burnett, Southern Downs, commencement of Dalby;
• 2011: Blackall, Emerald, Dalby completion, Goondiwindi, Hinchinbrook, Longreach, Mornington, Mt Isa, Murweh, North Burnett, Rio Tinto (Weipa), Tablelands, Whitsunday;
• 2012: Balonne, Banana, Barcaldine, Bundaberg, Burdekin, Carpentaria, Charters Towers, Cassowary, Cloncurry, Cook, Flinders, Isaac, Paroo, Roma, Toowoomba
MEDIA: Catherine Goldie 0417 728 676