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Heads above water

NOT AN ISSUE: The Southern Downs Regional Council does not consider water fluridation an important issue with residents. Photo Emma Channon
NOT AN ISSUE: The Southern Downs Regional Council does not consider water fluridation an important issue with residents. Photo Emma Channon Emma Channon

IT HAS the authority to turn off the fluoride tap but the Southern Downs Regional Council does not consider water fluoridation a significant issue.

The council started adding fluoride to Stanthorpe's water supply in May 2011 after the previous State Government mandated fluoride be added to water supplies serving 1000 people or more.

But, the controversial mandate was overturned recently, with changes to Queensland's legislation meaning local governments now have the decision-making power to determine if it is in the best interests of their communities to implement, continue or cease water fluoridation.

The Department of Health has written to every local government in Queensland, offering to meet and discuss the health benefits of fluoridation.

Several local governments have taken up the offer and yesterday councillors in the South Burnett voted to cease water fluoridation but the issue has not appeared on the Southern Downs Regional Council's agenda.

Southern Downs regional Council Water and Sewerage manager Gary Palmer said the council did not consider the issue needed to be addressed.

"Council's CEO does not consider this matter needs to be addressed unless the community raises significant concerns about council continuing to fluoridate Stanthorpe water supplies," he said.

"He has discussed the matter with councillors and there does not appear to be any support for this being on council's agenda at this stage."

According to Queensland's chief health officer, Dr Jeannette Young, implementing fluoridation in water is the most important way local governments can improve the dental health of their communities.

Topics:  fluoride, southern downs, stanthope, water fluoridation, water supply


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