Fluoride Action Network

Fraser Coast: Fluoride takes bite of budget

Source: Fraser Coast Chronicle | December 10th, 2010 | http://www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/story/2010/12/10/fluoride-takes-bite-of-budget/
Location: Australia

IN THE next decade residents who don’t live within the Hervey Bay or Maryborough treatment plant water feeds may find their teeth falling out.

No fluoride water will be coming out of their taps any time soon.

“But everyone else on the Fraser Coast will be getting their dose of fluoride from December 31 unless they are entirely on tank water,” Wide Bay Water chief executive Peter Scott promised yesterday.

Tiaro, however, will miss out because its population is still too low to satisfy the state’s new laws.

Tiaro needs to house 1000 residents to get fluoride.

The move to turn on the Fraser Coast fluoride comes after the State Government passed legislation on March 13, 2008.

“We’ll be injecting Fluorosilicic acid into the treated water and we’ll be doing that with stringent quality control to ensure the dose is always safe and correct,” Mr Scott said.

The Hervey Bay, Burgowan and Howard treatment plants will feed Bay residents at a rate of 0.8mg per litre.

Maryborough folk will get their fluoride dose courtesy of Teddington Weir at the same rate.

Leith Boully, Wide Bay Water’s chairman, said the corporation had an obligation under the law to comply with the legislation.

“It’s a public policy debate and at the heart of it is the health of the community. Dental health is incredibly important.

“This is a difficult decision for governments to take, they have to weigh the scientific evidence, which falls on the side of if you want to improve community health, adding fluoride to water contributes to that.

“I also understand there are people in the community who have a different view and we’re a democracy, so that’s allowed.”

Mr Scott said he had recently taken about five calls from residents on the fluoride arrival.

“One caller told me fluoride was a mind-altering drug being put into our water to take control of us,” he said.l

“Other callers are concerned about their chronic stomach complaints and anyone with those concerns should consult their GP or check with Queensland Health.”

Wlhile the state is paying for the capital costs of fluoride, it won’t be covering the annual operating and maintenance bill.

The regional council will.

“It’s going to cost $150,000 a year in operating costs,” Mr Scott said.

“That will have to go into the water prices.

“The capital cost is nearly $2.5 million and we will get that back from the State Government.”