Fluoride Action Network

Fluoridation to be discussed in Hastings

Source: Port Macquarie News | May 10th, 2004
Location: Australia

HASTINGS councillors will hear the argument in favour of fluoridation at a workshop this week.

This follows a meeting between mayor Rob Drew, Hastings Council general manager Bernard Smith, Mid-North Coast Area Health Service chief executive officer Terry Clout and health practitioners last week.

“They presented a very good case,” Cr Drew said.

Fluoridation was one of several issues discussed during the meeting.

Mr Clout agreed the meeting was positive and productive.

Mid-North Coast Area Health Service staff will provide a detailed briefing on the dental health crisis facing the region at a council workshop on Wednesday.

The controversial issue has attracted a strong debate on both sides.

The Hastings Safe Water Association is continuing to lobby against fluoridation, saying the $2 million of NSW Health Department money it would take to fluoridate four water supplies on the Mid-North Coast would be better spent employing school dental therapists.

The association is also hoping to have an audience with the council.

It had a professional video made for a forum on fluoridation held in the Hastings In 1991.

There were three proponents from the NSW Health Department and three opponents debating the pros and cons of fluoridation.

“Before any decision to fluoridate our drinking water, we would like council to view the video keeping in mind the possibility of holding a public viewing in a suitable venue,” said association spokesman Don Mackay.

Those opposing fluoridation in 1991 were MLC Dennis Stevenson, pharmacist and then mayor John Barrett and Rodger French.

The proponents were Dr Robert Weidenhoffer, director of dental services, Department of Health NSW, Dr John Beard, north coast regional director of Public Health NSW and Mrs Joan Lowe, state government appointee for the Department of Health fluoridation committee from 1980 to 1986.

Mr Mackay also wants to ask councillors what would their response be to holding a referendum on the issue using the question: “Do you want Sodium Silicio Fluoride added to your drinking water?”

“We are in the process of copying 12 videos so as councillors will be able to view them in their own good time,” Mr Mackay said.