MOUNT Isa remains undecided on the future of fluoridised water after the decision making was handed back to local councils.
Mayor Tony McGrady said after the recent changes, there were now further implications for Mount Isa ratepayers and community members.
In a decision that could ultimately affect both health and finances of the community, Cr McGrady was disappointed with the decision being hand-balled back to councils by the Newman Government.
“It is not good government to be reversing decisions so quickly,” Cr McGrady said.
“They have to be consistent, we have to be able to make plans for the future of the community and they need to be consistent so we can do that.”
Cr McGrady is concerned the money already spent on the implementation of the system would now fall back to council if they were to stop the treatment going ahead.
“Let’s have a genuine debate, but as Mayor of the city, I would not recommend it if it meant large financial implications for the ratepayer of the city,” he said.
Cr McGrady said it was now the responsibility of the council to work out what was in the best interest of the community.
“Fluoride has always been a contentious issue but the fact is that most of Queensland has it, and there is well documented health benefits for the use of fluoride,” Cr McGrady said.
Queensland’s chief health officer Jeannette Young has voiced her opinion of the health benefits of fluoride for Queensland communities.
Dr Young said implementing fluoridisation in water is the most important way local governments can improve the dental health of their communities.
Dr Young said World Health Organisation studies showed adding fluoride to water supplies was a safe and effective way of reducing tooth decay.
She said fluoride was not harmful to people’s health, despite the widespread scare mongering on the issue.
“In the small amounts that are used in water supplies, fluoride is not harmful,” Dr Young said.
“There is no evidence to show fluoride, in the amounts used in water supplies, has any detrimental health effects.
“Townsville has been using fluoride in its water supplies since 1964 and it has not resulted in any health problems there.
“There is no reliable evidence of any adverse health effects to communities which have already implemented fluoride in their water supplies.”