A MOVE to make water tank fees exempt when fluoride is introduced to Tenterfield town water was thrown out at this month’s Tenterfield Shire Council meeting.

Councillor Phil Yates had moved to introduce the motion, but it was ruled illegal following advice from general manager Jim Gossage.

Mr Gossage submitted a report to council to explain the motion had been excluded “in accordance with the requirements of the code of meeting practice”.

Cr Yates had asked that due to the introduction of fluoride in the town’s water supply, council introduce an exemption to fees and charges for water if residents wanted to convert to tank water on their premises.

He had introduced the issue of fluoride earlier in the council meeting, repeating a request for council to write to NSW’s Minister for Health Jillian Skinner to seek advice about a legal challenge to stop the introduction of fluoride in Ballina, and how it would affect Tenterfield Shire Council.

Cr Yates said he wanted council to “rethink” adding fluoride to the water supply, despite the completion of a $67,000 fluoride dosing plant.

“Sodium fluoride is very toxic and systemic… it is really rat poison and cockroach poison,” he said.

“It was used in the second world war against the Jews by the Nazis.”

Cr Yates said studies showed fluoride was only useful in protecting the teeth of children up to 12 years of age.

“I would prefer parents take on the issue and supply fluoride tablets,” he said. “To put this poison into our water supply – I am dead against it.”

Mayor Toby Smith said the matter was out of council’s hands.

“The Department of Health are the ones responsible,” Cr Smith said. “It was taken out of council’s hands some years ago.”

Cr Smith said Cr Yates’s motion to write to the Minister for Health had been defeated at the last meeting.