THE fight against forced fluoridation of the region’s water continued in the Bundaberg Regional Council yesterday with Councillor Alan Bush proposing a motion to tell the State Government the city did not want it.
He proposed council tell the State Government it would rather use the money to upgrade the region’s water treatment plants.
However, Cr Bush’s motion was deferred while the council seeks a meeting with State Government officials to get a clear picture of whether it would fund the infrastructure for fluoridation.
Cr Bush said after the council meeting that the State Government had indicated it would only fund the infrastructure for fluoridation in the Isis, Branyan and old Burnett Shire Council water treatment plants.
“The other six plants run off bore water, and they have said they’re not going to fund those,” he said.
“We need to know what the situation is because we’re doing our budget now and it is $1.5 million worth of work just planning the infrastructure,” he said.
Cr Bush said the council had to budget for the money then ask the State Government to refund it.
“The State Government said they would refund the amalgamation costs but they never did,” he said.
“We could budget for that and get left holding the baby.”
Cr Bush said the State Government legislation meant the council had no alternative but to fluoridate the water, but if the money was not refunded costs would have to be passed on to the ratepayers.
He said the irony was that only about 1% of the water treated was used for drinking.
The rest was used for washing and watering gardens and parks.
He told the council meeting the State Government had taken away the 40% subsidy it had had for water treatment, meaning extra costs would have to be passed on to the community.
“If they keep putting all these costs on it will become more of a problem for our residents to pay for water,” he said.
Cr Wayne Honor told the meeting as much as a third of the region’s community would never get access to reticulated water with fluoride added. He said the State Government was leaving a large part of the community disenfranchised.