A Lismore councillor wants a poll conducted at the next local government election to determine whether a majority of residents support adding fluoride to the water supply.
Greens councillor Vanessa Ekins has lodged a notice of motion calling for the poll, which will be determined at next week’s Tuesday council meeting.
‘Just as CSG has ignited community discussion about clean waterways and local control over activities that may impact our environment and health, so has the addition of fluoride to our water supply,’ Cr Ekins said.
‘Even in the council chamber opinions on fluoridation are divided.
‘Our community has never been adequately consulted on the question of fluoridation and this shows complete disrespect for our own consultation policies.
‘I urge councillors to consider conducting a poll along the same lines as the CSG poll, with the question formulated and advertised in the same manner.’
The Echonetdaily reported recently that Cr Ekins has also lodged a motion that will be considered at the next meeting of Rous Water on 16 September.
Cr Ekins, who is one of two Lismore delegates on Rous Water, wants Rous Water to suspend adding fluoride because the National Health and Medical Research Council was still reviewing fluoride concentration levels.
‘They’re still accepting scientific submissions,’ Cr Ekins said.
‘At the moment Rous is planning on putting one milligram per litre, which was the 1970s standard.
‘World best practise standard now is 0.7 milligrams per litre.
‘When Rous last formally discussed putting fluoride in the water supply, councillors who supported fluoride in the water supply were very keen to see that concentration reduced to 0.7.
‘People are concerned about the high level of concentration.’
Rous Water’s general manager Kyme Lavelle has rejected calls to stop the fluoridation of water, saying the process had taken ten years, involved three court cases and consulation.
“So besides that we’ve had to comply with the requirements of New South Wales Health in terms of the standard of construction, the type of equipment we’ve put in there.
“There has been a testing regime in place which has been witnessed by the Office of Water, and reports provided to the Department of Health which has provided approval to commence the fluoridation.’
Rous Water has constructed fluoride dosing plants in the Clunes, Knockrow, Dorroughby and Corndale areas.
Richmond Valley, Ballina Shire and Lismore City Councils will receive fluoride in their water except, water customers in Nimbin.
NSW Health has also directed Ballina Shire Council to fluoridate the water supplied from the Marom Creek Water Treatment Plant to town water customers in the Wardell area.
Byron Shire’s town water customers will not receive fluoridated water. Town water customers in the Richmond Valley township of Casino already receive fluoridated water.