QUEENSLAND Premier Anna Bligh may be keen to fluoridate the state’s water supply, but not all supporters of the Australian Labor Party are flashing toothy grins over it.
One of the Gladstone region’s branches of the party (there are two) is considering submitting a motion condemning fluoridation at Sunday’s ALP conference in Rockhampton.
If it does so it will be on the grounds that the fluoridation of the water supply was uneconomical because most of the fluoride will go to waste, that it may cause ill effects and that the effect on the environment had not been fully considered.
Assistant secretary of the Port Curtis Hinterland Branch of the ALP, Craig Giddins, said he was opposed to fluoridation of the water supply.
“It is forced medication which we will have to pay for in our rates,” he said.
“In Gladstone we are already paying high rates and now Gladstone Regional Council will charge us even more because of the water fluoridation.”
He said if the government was convinced fluoridation was medically helpful, then it should subsidise fluoride tablets rather than force fluoridation on the whole Queensland community whether they wanted it or not.
And he said if there were those who really believed fluoride would help their teeth and those of their children’s, then they would be able to take advantage of the government’s subsidised offer of free fluoride tablets.
“Only a small amount of the water will be consumed and the rest will go to waste on gardens, in gutters from run-off from washed cars, the kitchen sink, the bathtub and the washing machine.”
The branch’s vice-president, Clive Coleman, confirmed that the branch at its meeting tomorrow would consider a motion condemning fluoridation of Queensland water supplies.
If it is passed as is or in an amended form, the motion will be submitted at the conference on Sunday.
The fluoridation of the water supply was a state government directive and the GAWB was under legal obligation to follow the directive.