Fluoride Action Network

Toowoomba: Fluoride plan hit and miss

Source: The Toowoomba Chronicle | May 13th, 2009 | By Madeleine Logan
Location: Australia

DEPUTY Mayor Paul Antonio sat shaking his head yesterday as councillors were told 75 per cent of Toowoomba households would miss out on properly fluoridated water.

He blamed the State Government for a situation where some people will get full treatment next year, others will get nothing and the remainder will get something in between.

Toowoomba Regional Council has been instructed to only fluoridate water that goes through the Mt Kynoch treatment plant.

The bores that make up 40% of the city’s supply won’t be touched.

It will take another four years before that water is fully treated, a government spokesman said yesterday.

Water Services director Kevin Flanagan has identified who will and will not get the proper amount of fluoride next year.

People who live west of Mort Street and north of James Street (the Wilsonton area) will. They get all their water from Mt Kynoch.

Those who live in the CBD or the older parts of Rangeville between Ruthven and Alderley streets will miss out. They are drinking 100% per cent bore water.

Everyone else will get an inadequate level of fluoride — the exact amount changes on a daily basis as bore levels vary.

Toowoomba-based Australian Dental Association of Queensland councillor Rob Sivertsen said the system was a shambles.

“Twenty five per cent is just not good enough,” he said. “They need to stop messing around. It’s got to be done in one go.”

Mr Sivertsen said the piecemeal approach made the work of dentists more difficult.

“If a patient comes in, we have no idea if they are getting fluoride or not. That affects their treatment plan.”

Cr Antonio, the water services spokesman, said he “can’t believe” the system. “You either do it properly or you don’t,” he said.

He said the problems started when it was deemed too expensive to add fluoride by December to each of the 18 points where bore water was added to the town supply.