ANTI-FLUORIDE campaigners have vowed to keep fighting after an estimated 800 people attended a protest rally last night on the Warrnambool Civic Green.
The strong numbers gave protesters renewed confidence to push ahead with their bid to ask Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to intervene and stop fluoride dosing plants being installed in water supplies throughout Australia.
Those who attended unanimously voted to not only take the protest to the state and federal Governments, but also to pressure the South West Trades and Labor Council to join the fight and to urge Wannon Water not to go ahead with building a fluoride plant in the city.
Former City of Warrnambool chief executive Vern Robson chaired the rally and said the strong attendance proved it was now time to take the campaign to the next level.
“We’ve now got to generate attention from other centres, we need to have the people of Melbourne join us so they can have fluoride withdrawn from their water,” he said.
He told the crowd that the protest was now urgent because Wannon Water had already advertised for tenders to build a fluoride dosing plant.
Warrnambool Fluoride Action Group convener Peter Hulin criticised Warrnambool City councillors for not attending the meeting or getting behind the campaign.
“The council has totally abandoned us. I hope in November next year we can show those councillors what we think of them,” Mr Hulin said. He said Mayor David Atkinson was paid $1000 a week and given a car to drive by ratepayers, but still couldn’t manage to attend the meeting.
Group member Peter Sycopoulis assured the crowd that the eyes of anti-fluoride campaigners around the world were on Warrnambool.
“Back in August when 800 to 1000 people attended a meeting at Emmanuel College – that was the largest anti-fluoride meeting in history,” he said.
Member for Wannon David Hawker promised to help the campaigners by approaching Mr Rudd.
“I’m going to take this to Kevin Rudd and put it to him that the Commonwealth already has the power to hold a plebiscite,” Mr Hawker said.
The speakers were occassionally interrupted by a group of nearby youths who appeared intoxicated and apparently thought the protest was a pro-fluoride gathering.
They repeatedly yelled out “We don’t want your fluoride”.