Alex Young (pictured) said he was confident a referendum would prove that most residents are opposed to the fluoridation of their drinking water.
Mr Young’s call came two weeks after Choice Mount Gambier led an anti-fluoride protest march with about 120 residents down the city’s main street and despite Health Minister John Hill calling community consultation on fluoridation a closed issue.
“The debate on fluoridation was settled in the rest of Australia over 30 years ago … consultation on this matter took part in Mount Gambier in June 2005 as part of the development of the SA Oral Health Plan,” Mr Hill said.
“This consultation included a well-advertised public meeting and the publication of a consultation paper outlining the benefits of water fluoridation.”
But Mr Young said he did not consider consultation with the community to be fair and just.
“I don’t think there was ever a good democratic consultation process; the public meeting held in Mount Gambier in 2005 did not adequately advertise fluoridation as a key topic,” he said.
“The principle in good pharmacology is that a doctor would take reasonable precaution to administer the right drug at the right dose to the right person at the right time.
“The mechanism of water fluoridation does not honour that principle of good pharmacology.
“Fluoride is the only drug in the world that is delivered to the masses and it’s a big push for government to push this onto people.
“We should have a choice.”
Mr Young said he expected government to meet with the community, provide reputable scientific literature and conduct a poll before fluoride was added to the Blue Lake water supply in July.
In reference to New South Wales farmer Peter Spencer, who recently spent 52 days on a hunger strike on a 10-metre wind tower in protest against vegetation laws, Mr Young asked if it was fair.
“Should a person have to go to that length to get a minister to meet with the people?” he said.
Choice Mount Gambier has established an online forum for discussion about fluoridation issues.