THE fluoride battle is not yet over, with Rous Water seeking legal advice on whether they can refuse a NSW Health directive to fluoridate the water supplies of Ballina, Lismore and Richmond Valley councils.
At Rous Water’s meeting this week, a motion to obtain more information on the effects of fluoride on ‘human health and the environment’ was deferred until next month.
If approved, it would put the fluoridation process on hold.
It could even lead to Rous Water refusing to enact the directive and approvals issued by NSW Health.
Rous Water’s acting general manager, Wayne Franklin, said staff were now getting legal advice on the matter.
“Councillors want to make sure that there has been adequate consideration,” he said.
“There are some councillors and community members who don’t want fluoridation.
“But we’re seeking advice and we’ll report that back to the council next month.
Rous Water chairman Col Sullivan said each council had already made its decision.
“But let’s get a legal ruling on it,” he said.
“I don’t want us to support something that’s illegal just because of the politics of it.”
This comes as an independent report recommended Rous Water not make a determination on the review of environmental factors for the construction of the dosing plants.
Ballina Fluoridation-Free Network spokeswoman, Ilga Sleja, said she was pleased to see the issue was ‘starting to be addressed properly’.
“The councillors are being quite courageous in asking these questions,” she said.
“They have a responsibility to the community and they’re realising that.”
But a spokeswoman for NSW Health said Rous Water had ‘certain legal rights and obligations’.
“NSW Health would make a decision on what action, if any, was taken on Rous Water’s decision to not fluoridate if and when that decision was made,” she said.