Fluoride Action Network

Gunnedah fluoride treatment system in design phase

Source: Namoi Valley Independent | August 1st, 2019 | By Vanessa Hohnke
Location: Australia

Gunnedah Shire Council has been working with NSW Health and the state government to add fluoride to the town’s water by 2020, but the type of treatment system is yet to be determined.

Council’s infrastructure services director Jeremy Bartlett said the design and treatment system would be financed by NSW Health but the ongoing costs would be covered by the council.

“Gunnedah Shire Council’s preference is for a centralised dosing system as the ongoing operational and renewal cost will be lower to the community,” he said.

“However, given that the initial capital cost of this option is significant, the NSW Government has requested further due diligence consideration be given to the possibility of three separate dosing locations, which is expected to have a lower capital cost to the state government, but higher ongoing and renewal cost to council.

“Council staff will continue to work with NSW Health and consultants to determine the best outcome for the community.”

The concept design report is expected to be delivered late this year.


Fluoride has been a hot topic in the community since the council approved plans to fluoridate the town’s water supply in December 2017 for the oral health benefits to residents.

The decision sparked an anti-fluoride workshop facilitated by Fluoride Action Network but 11 months later, NSW Health approved the council’s decision.

With each progression, locals posted strong opinions for and against fluoridation on NVI‘s Facebook page.

The controversial matter came before council in 2009, 2012 and 2014, and then councillors voted in favour of it three years later.

In late 2018, dentist Michael Jonas wrote to the NVI and as dentist of almost 40 years, said he believed fluoridation of the town water was “long overdue” and he had seen “many, many patients – children and adults – with dental disease that could have been avoided”.

Several chiefs of groups including the Australian Dental Association, Australian Medical Association NSW and National Rural Health Alliance even wrote an open letter urging the council to support the move.

Only a small number of NSW local government bodies do not fluoridate their town water supplies.

*Original article online at https://www.nvi.com.au/story/6302623/fluoride-still-in-the-pipeline-for-gunnedah-water-supply-in-2020/