WHITSUNDAY Regional Council will not be adding fluoride to the region’s potable water.
The decision was made at yesterday’s ordinary meeting at the Reef Gateway Hotel in Cannonvale.
Council resolved to finalise the construction phase of the Bowen and Proserpine water treatment plant fluoride facilities to ensure compliance with the current funding agreements and then proceed with immediate decommissioning. Furthermore a letter will be issued to withdraw the submissions for three additional fluoridation facilities, recouping any associated costs.
Councillors Andrew Willcox, Jan Clifford, Kevin Collins, John Collins and Peter Ramage voted in favour of the motion while Cr Dave Clark and mayor Jennifer Whitney voted against it.
The topic was originally scheduled for the meeting’s confidential section, but was moved to general business as a result of of motion by Cr Kevin Collins.
Cr Collins said he personally believed in fluoride but was voting against it purely based on costs.
He said he had done his sums and in reality the amount of fluoride a person could physically consume through drinking water would mean Whitsunday Regional Council was literally flushing $363,500 down the toilets and drains each year.
Cr Collins said he wanted his reasons recorded so that the anti-fluoride “rat bags” did not think they had won the fight.
“The line between a just cause and a zealot was crossed many times during this debate,” he said.
“I decided a zealot doesn’t need motivation – they just believe”.
Councillors debated whether to revisit the matter in 10-12 months but they were advised by both the executive manager of Water and Sewerage James Stewart and chief executive officer Scott Waters that due to funding timelines, reversing the decision would be likely to result in additional costs.