Queensland’s first dentist elected to parliament has introduced a Bill to mandate the addition of fluoride in the state’s drinking water supply.
Liberal MP for Surfers Paradise John Paul Langbroek presented the Fluoridation and Public Water Supplies Amendment Bill 2004 to parliament, calling for the state to act to protect Queenslanders’ teeth.
Currently, local government authorities have control over whether fluoride is added to a town’s water supply or not, leading for example to fluoride being added to Townsville’s water, but not to Brisbane’s supply.
In presenting reasons for the Bill, Mr Langbroek said the varying rates of tooth decay between Queensland and the rest of Australia could be directly related to fluoride.
“Recent dental evidence indicates that at the age of six, Queensland children have the highest rate of decayed, missing or filled primary teeth, almost 50 per cent above the national average,” Mr Langbroek said.
“And Queensland’s 12-year-old children also have the highest rate of decayed, missing or filled permanent teeth, more than 50 per cent above the national average.”
Mr Langbroek said the variance in decay rates between Queensland and the rest of Australia was directly related to fluoride, as was evidenced by the fact Townsville children had significantly lower rates of tooth decay than children in Brisbane.