The fight against the fluoridation of much of the region’s water supply is far from over, according to opponents.
A new association has been formed called Fluoride Free Northern Rivers, and a public meeting will held at the Lismore Bowling Club on 31 July to discuss tactics and provide information about fluoride.
Association member Al Oshlack, who launched a previous unsuccessful legal challenge against the decision to fluoridate, said other legal avenues were being explored.
‘We believe the vast majority of people in the Ballina and Lismore areas do not want their water fluoridated,’ Mr Oshlack told Echonetdaily.
Mr Oshlack said opponents of fluoridation believed the Australian constitution prohibited forced medical treatments on the general population.
‘We’ve had a couple of legal opinions and we’re trying to get another from a senior counsel,’ he said.
‘The basis of a challenge would be that the directive from the NSW Director General of Health to local councils was an invalid order.
Mr Oshlack said any challenge would take the form of a ‘prohibitive writ’, and would be lodged in the High Court of Australia because it was a constitutional matter.
Meanwhile, opponents are launching a petition calling for Rous Water to hold a plebiscite on the issue.
‘People in this area don’t want it and have never been given an opportunity to have a say,’ Mr Oshlack said.
Rous Water has constructed four fluoride plants that will enable fluoridated water to be provided to a majority of residents in region.
The supply of fluoridated water is expected to begin anytime.
Ballina Shire Council has also constructed a fluoride plant at Marom Creek water treatment plant to supply water to Wardell.
Fluoridated water will be supplied to most town water customers in the Ballina, Lismore and Richmond Valley Council areas.
The Richmond Valley Council township of Casino is already supplied with fluoridated water.
Fluoridated water will not be supplied to Byron Shires town water customers nor town water customers in Nimbin.
Mr Oshlack said it was ‘crunch time’ to stop the region’s water supplies being fluoridated.
‘NSW is the most heavily fluoridated place in the world,’ he said.
‘In places like China and much of Europe it’s banned.
‘China has done a vast amount of scientific studies in relation to fluoride and its effect on intelligence, and they’ve found direct links.
‘They are selling fluoride to us to dumb us down.’
Mr Oshlack said the issue wasn’t going to go away, comparing fluoride to other products such as tobacco, asbestos and DDT, which were initially considered safe, but were now recognised as dangerous to health.
He said the new group would be setting up stalls at markets around the region, as well as in the central business district of Lismore in coming weeks.
He also said the meeting at the Lismore Bowls Club would be family friendly, and would include music and food.