Fluoride Action Network

Premier Bligh puts fluoride stamp on Queensland government

Source: The Daily | February 7th, 2008 | By Crystal Ja
Location: Australia

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says she wants her government to reconsider a range of issues set aside by her predecessor Peter Beattie.

Ms Bligh made the comment while addressing her 58 Labor caucus colleagues at a $150 a night Surfers Paradise hotel for a two day planning retreat.

The MPs, who will dine on a modest $41.50 a head seafood buffet at the Watermark Hotel, were given bottles of fluoridated water to emphasise the premier’s point.

Next week at the first parliamentary sitting for the year the government will introduce a bill to introduce fluoride to drinking water, providing 80 per cent of the state with fluoridated water within two years and 95 per cent by 2012.

Former premier Beattie opposed blanket fluoride protection, preferring to leave the decision to local councils – leaving Queensland as the only Australian state not to have fluoride.

Ms Bligh told her colleagues that 2008 would be an important year for Labor, even though it was not an election year.

“We have an opportunity here for renewal, but I think it’s very very important for us to understand that renewal is not just about changing leadership,” she said.

“What renewal is about is meeting the challenge of developing new responses to old challenges and being prepared to reconsider issues that we might have once considered and put to one side.”

She said the bottles of water would also ensure the MPs were “well-equipped to answer people about any concerns they may have”.

Ms Bligh said 2008 would be a “big and exciting year”.

“This year is really the year to start building the platform that we will be taking,” she said.

Mr Beattie, who retired from politics in September last year, will leave Brisbane on the weekend to take up an academic position at the University of South Carolina in the United States.