THE Howard Government will tonight be asked to intervene in Warrnambool’s fluoride debate and hold a referendum on the contentious issue.
Hundreds of people are expected to turn out for a public forum tonight to debate whether the city should be forced to swallow fluoride through its water supply.
A resolution calling on Prime Minister John Howard to overrule the state’s decision and call a referendum will be put forward.
Warrnambool, Koroit and Allansford voters would then have the final say on the approved dental health measure.
“After that, if the people of Warrnambool want fluoride, then that is democracy,” action group founder Peter Hulin told The Standard yesterday.
There has been widespread criticism over the State Government’s handling of the issue since it announced last month that the city’s water would be fluoridated.
A lack of public consultation and debate on the controversial chemical have been the major sticking points.
The intervention call comes at an opportune time, with the Federal Government lashing out at Labor-controlled states in the lead-up to the election.
Mr Howard has foreshadowed a takeover of a hospital in Devonport.
The Prime Minister has also called for a plebiscite on Queensland’s plan to amalgamate that state’s local councils.
If the fluoride request is knocked back, anti-fluoride organisers are expected to seek donations to fund a referendum.
Victorian Premier John Brumby and State Government ministers will be asked to delay the introduction of fluoride to the city’s system until the results of a vote are known.
The campaign will also be taken to the unions, with an attempt to put a total ban on any design or construction works associated with fluoride.
The community meeting will be held at the Emmanuel College hall (junior campus) from 7.30pm.