A BILL backing a Warrnambool lobby group’s push for a referendum on fluoride was introduced into State Parliament yesterday.
Western Victoria MP Peter Kavanagh’s bill would require the State Government to obtain public approval before adding fluoride to an area’s water supply.
The Democratic Labor Party member expects the bill to be debated in the Upper House at the end of the month.
It comes a day after Liberal MP John Vogels told Parliament that a citizens’ vote must decide if Warrnambool’s water is fluoridated, saying: “If the proponents are confident of community support, a plebiscite on this issue should hold no
Mr Kavanagh said the bill would prevent fluoride from being added to public water supplies unless the majority of residents wanted it.
Any referendum would be timed to coincide with local government elections, due next in November 2008.
“There are reasons to be concerned about the benefits of fluoridation,” Mr Kavanagh said.
“My main point, however, is that as a matter of democratic principle local people should determine local issues wherever practicable.
“Elected dictatorship is not equivalent to democracy.”
Warrnambool Fluoride Action Group spokesman Peter Hulin said the bill supported what local campaigners had been calling for.
“All the people of Warrnambool want is to have some sort of say as to what goes into our body,” he said.