Fluoride Action Network

Toowoomba: Ratepayers face bill for failure

Source: The Chronicle | October 14th, 2009 | By Madeleine Logan
Location: Australia

FAILING to add fluoride to the Toowoomba town water system by deadline could cost ratepayers $120,000.

Councillors were told in committee meetings yesterday that work to upgrade the Mt Kynoch treatment plant would not be completed by the December 31 cut-off date set by the State Government.

The council could be penalised up to 10 per cent of the cost of the project – about $120,000 – for missing the deadline.

It will take until at least the end of March for workers to get the new system up and running.

CEO Ken Gouldthorp said equipment for the plant had been delayed by about 16 to 20 weeks. This had caused the project to run overtime.

“It’s an equipment availability issue which is outside our control,” he said.

Parts of Toowoomba will already miss out on proper fluoride levels after the State Government decided to only upgrade the Mt Kynoch treatment plant.

This means the suburbs supplied wholly or partly by bores will receive very little fluoride or none at all.

Deputy Mayor Paul Antonio yesterday blamed a lack of time for the missed deadline.

“The time frames were short,” he said.

Even though the council was given about 12 months warning, much of that time was spent tussling with the State Government about whether fluoride had to be added to bore water.

“We’re seeking additional time,” Cr Antonio said.