Fluoride Action Network

Gladstone residents divided on issue of fluoride in water

Source: The Gladstone Observer | February 26th, 2013 | By Mary Bolling
Location: Australia

GLADSTONE residents have mixed feelings about fluoride in the water supply, with an Observer poll showing some support for keeping fluoride.

While 54% of people support removing fluoride from Gladstone’s water, 45% are keen for it to stay.

Comments on The Observer’s Facebook page also have been mixed.

But residents can rely on getting a dose of fluoride in their drinking water for at least another few months, with Gladstone Regional Council set to consider removing it in April.

State Health Minister Lawrence Springborg gave councils the go-ahead to stop adding fluoride to town water in November, despite widely-accepted dental health benefits.

Gladstone Council CEO Stuart Randle said an internal report had been commissioned to help councillors make the decision.

“Council has not yet formally given consideration to removing fluoride from the water supply,” he said.

“It is expected that a report will be provided to council in April.”

Gladstone first switched to fluoridated water in 2009 as part of a state-wide health initiative by the then-ALP government.

Since November, six Queensland councils – Tablelands, South Burnett, Cairns, Burdekin, Bundaberg and Fraser Coast – have voted to remove the minerals from water supplies.

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek – a qualified dentist – last week slammed the councils, saying they were making a terrible mistake.

Mr Langbroek said the councils were ignoring the dental health of children in their regions.

“These councils are making poor, ill-judged decisions that are having long-term ramifications for their children,” he said.

“I think these councils are making a terrible mistake that is affecting their children and the most vulnerable in their communities.”