THE decision by another Queensland council to remove fluoride from its drinking water has been slammed by federal Health Minister Tania Plibersek.
Fraser Coast is the sixth council in Queensland to make the controversial decision.
Ms Plibersek has challenged Premier Campbell Newman to take control back from regional councils.
“This will mean people will have unnecessary fillings and extractions of teeth down the track,” she told AAP.
She said if Mr Newman really did believe in the science behind fluoride, his actions in allowing local councils to decide the matter were bizarre.
“He’s allowed councils to take this incredibly irresponsible action. He should act and show some leadership as premier.”
In the past Mr Newman has said he “totally, unequivocally” supports fluoridation.
But some members of his Liberal National Party government clearly believe that fluoride is a health risk.
Government MP Jason Woodforth last week said he’d rather spend the rest of his life taking the banned performance-enhancing substance IGF-1 than drink fluoridated water.
Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O’Connell criticised his council for voting on Wednesday to remove fluoride from the water, saying the issue should be decided by the state government.
He supports fluoridating water, citing the overwhelming amount of medical and scientific evidence that it’s a safe and sustainable way to reduce tooth decay among the population.
“I voted not to cease fluoridation. I’ve been defeated,” Mr O’Connell told AAP.