CLONCURRY Mayor Andrew Daniels says a lack of public support was behind the decision not to fluoridate his town’s water supply.
“More than 90 per cent of people in Cloncurry don’t drink our water anyway,” he said.
Cr Daniels said the cost of fluoridation was also another factor in the decision after the Newman government gave local government power over whether or not they wanted to fluoride in the water.
“The ongoing cost is one thing…local government shouldn’t have to supply that to the community when it’s easy for them to keep a toothbrush and toothpaste and take care of their own teeth,” he said.
“If we start cleaning their teeth for them, will they want us to start wiping their backsides for them too?”
Cr Daniels said the town has plenty of jobs available for people who agree with the choice not to put fluoride in the water.
But vehement anti-fluoridation protester Paul Hai said it was nice of Cr Daniels to offer that option to Mount Isa residents, but he wouldn’t be moving on anytime soon.
“I’ve been in Mount Isa for 20 years and raised my family here,” he said.
“I shouldn’t have to move to Cloncurry to avoid this.”
Mr Hai said the ball was in the Mount Isa City Council’s court now and they should ask the public before making any decisions about whether or not to implement fluoridation.
“Fluoride is a poison corporations can’t legally dump in any landfill, creek, or ocean but they’re getting rid of it through our drinking water,” he said.
“Over 50 per cent of the council is against it.
“We need to opt out of it before it is commissioned by the state government.”
Mount Isa mayor Tony McGrady said if councillors wanted to oppose the standing decision to let the Mount Isa Water Board proceed with plans to fluoridate the city’s water supply they could table their concerns and put it to a vote at the next meeting.
Cr McGrady was adamant preventing fluoridation could come at a cost to local government if they pulled out of the state Fluoridation Project – a project the state government has already spent more than $200,000 dollars on in Mount Isa.
“There’s no way I will recommend that we stop works taking place until we know who pays the bill,” he said.
Correspondence between the Mount Isa Water Board and City Council showed the annual operating costs of fluoridation infrastructure would total $60,000 per year and make up less than one per cent of the board’s annual budget.
McGrady said the cost of implementing fluoridation systems would be paid for by the state but said he personally trusted the recommendation by chief health officers at Queensland Health who support fluoridation.