THE process to fluoridate the Ballina Shire’s water supply has hit its first hurdle.
Three councillors yesterday lodged a rescission motion which will see the matter debated again later this month.
At its March meeting, the council voted 6-4 in favour of fluoridation.
But there has been some backlash from residents about the lack of consultation.
Ballina Fluoridation-Free Network campaigner, Ilga Sleja, thanked Cr Keith Johnson for lodging the rescission motion.
“The community has been excluded. We’re hoping the new councillors, in particular, will take the time to look at the research,” she said.
“The council is just not listening and it’s really frustrating.”
Alstonville-based health professionals Chris and Amanda Bryce are also calling for a ‘fair and open debate’. “We’re neutral on the issue, but we just think this needs to be talked about more,” Mr Bryce said.
Despite voting for fluoridation, Mayor Phillip Silver said he was not disappointed about the rescission motion, which was also signed by Cr David Wright and Cr Alan Brown.
“This is all part of our democratic process,” Cr Silver said.
Cr Silver said a letter had been sent to the North Coast Area Health, which ‘effectively freezes the process’.
“It will now be voted on at the April meeting,” he said. “I cannot anticipate how the vote will go.
“But if it’s 5-5, it would be wrong for me to use my casting vote in favour of fluoridation.”
Cr Brown said he wanted to see some ‘fair consultation’.
“People are very upset about the manner in which this issue was dealt with,” he said.
Cr Wright said people wanted to ‘have a say’.
“It’s been three years since the council asked people what they want,” he said.
The Ballina Fluoridation-Free Network will hold a meeting at the Ballina RSL Club on Tuesday, from 7pm. Phone Ilga on 6686 9262.