FOLLOWING strenuous opposition to a recommendation to add fluoride to the town water supply, Oberon Council have voted to leave the water alone.

Councillors Morgan, Sajowitz and Evans voted for fluoridation, while councillors Francis, Gibbons, McCarthy, Lord and Doney voted against it at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

Mayor John McMahon said he was disappointed with the decision, because so much work had gone into preparing reports and seeking funding.

“We should be looking out for kids in the future,” Mr McMahon said.

The recommendation before council was that council, as the water supply authority, make an application to the director general of NSW Health to fluoridate the Oberon town water supply.

It was noted that NSW Health would fund the capital costs of the required infrastructure.

Anti fluoride campaigners turned out at the meeting to reinforce to councillors that Oberon residents did not want fluoride added to their water supply.

Veronika Cvitanovic presented a petition to council with 672 signatures and said the overall consensus was that it was a waste of money and most of the water would go down the drain.

Mayor John McMahon said the topic has generated a lot of paper work, with a great deal of correspondence received at council.

“I have not seen the public gallery this full since the power line issues some many years ago,” Cr McMahon said.

“I have read all the correspondence since the community consultation on March 12 where presentations were made by Dr Shanti Sivaneswaran from NSW Health, Dr Tony Brown, University of Sydney and Merilyn Haines from the Fluoride Action Network Australia.”

Correspondence submitted to council were forwarded to NSW Health for comment.

Councillors were given the opportunity to address the meeting and explain the reason for their decision.

Cr Jill Evans said people she had spoken to wanted fluoride in the water.

Cr Ian Doney said he felt the campaign has been a healthy debate.

“Fluoridation was good in the past, but the problem with dental decay now is sugar and poor dental hygiene,” he said. “Medical opinions are changing.”

Anti fluoride campaigner Chris Freeman thanked councillors for their decision and said they will continue with their campaign in regards to oral hygiene in the Oberon community.