COUNCILLOR Glenda Mather has described the State Government’s changes to fluoride legislation as “an answer to a prayer”.

The State Government last week passed an amendment which Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said would restore control of fluoride management to local goverments.

Cr Mather was one of 50 people who gathered outside City Hall in 2009 to protest the former Labor government’s enforcement of fluoridation in water.

She said despite much resistance, it was thrust on people whether they objected or had allergies. While Rockhampton Regional Council was yesterday unsure how the change to the water fluoridation act would affect the region’s water treatment, Cr Mather said she had spoken with people from Mr Springborg’s office.

“Under the legislation we are also eligible to claim funding for infrastructure for fluoride,” Cr Mather said.

“It’s an industrial by-product. Leaving it out is going to improve the health of people.”

She said buying and putting fluoride in the water cost the council $35,000 each year.

Cr Mather’s anti-fluoride crusade will continue when she starts a petition to gauge community sentiment in the next week. “I am quite confident we will not only have support, but there will be overwhelming support,” she said.

Meanwhile, Cr Mather believes a report on the current costs of putting fluoride into the region’s water supply will come before councillors soon.

But a council spokeswoman said she anticipated the council would not weigh their options until early next year. “There had been no prior consultation with local government about these amendments,” she said.

“The council has not had sufficient time to consider these changes, the community sentiment on the matter, or the potential impacts to this part of the water treatment process.”