Fluoride Action Network

Warrnambool: Fluoridation has been an issue for the last 30 years

Source: The Warrnambool Standard | Stay on the waterwheel long enough and the issues rise to the top again | October 11th, 2008
Location: Australia

CANDIDATES for the looming November council elections are airing policy issues they see as important and fresh.

However, many of the topics have been around for decades.

A glance through The Standard 30 years ago shows how little some things have changed in Warrnambool.

Back in 1978 the community was still debating fluoridation, rates, parking, traffic safety and other topics that are high on today’s agenda.

Perhaps the most controversial issue in the past 12 months has been fluoridation.

But turn back the clock 30 years and you’ll find a front page headline in The Standard saying ‘W’bool told to fluoridate water supply’.

The September 7, 1978 story predicted Warrnambool residents could be drinking fluoridated water within three years after the Health Department ordered the city council to add fluoride to the supply when a water treatment plant was built at Albert Park.

The Health Department’s push sparked calls for a referendum by then councillor Les Hawkins, but this idea was rejected by the council.

Earlier that year a public meeting called by the council to discuss fluoridation drew more councillors than residents.

That’s a far cry from two public protest meetings in Warrnambool late last year attended by up to 800 people each time.

History shows the South West Trades and Labour Council black-banned work on fluoridation equipment. The issue then sat on the shelf until the State Government last year forced the issue.

Fluoridation was introduced in water supplies for Warrnambool, Allansford and Koroit on September 29 and at least four candidates for the forthcoming elections have vowed to fight for its removal…