Oberon fluoride fight: rally held and opponents are getting organised

CONCERNED: A Freedom of Choice rally on Tuesday attracted citizens opposed to Oberon Council's decision to fluoridate the town water supply.
CONCERNED: A Freedom of Choice rally on Tuesday attracted citizens opposed to Oberon Council's decision to fluoridate the town water supply.

OPPONENTS are getting organised following Oberon Council’s decision last week to add fluoride to the town’s water supply.

More than 40 people attended what was called a Freedom of Choice rally at the Oberon Community Centre on Tuesday as the town digests last week’s conclusion to a months-long divisive community debate. 

One of the organisers of Tuesday’s rally, Racheal Maher, said she believed council's decision had taken away the very basic human right of freedom of choice.

"The Oberon community fought with everything they had to stand against amalgamation [with Bathurst], for their independence, their right to make their own decisions and on July 17, at Oberon Council's ordinary meeting, everything that fight represented was taken away,” she said.

"This is not an argument for or against fluoridation - it's much greater than that. It's an opportunity to protect your right to live in a community that supports freedom of the individual.

"If people choose to use fluoride, I respect that right, and ask you to please do the same for me and many others by not taking that choice away.”

Chris Freeman, who also spoke at the rally, said "council is ultimately the voice of the people, not NSW Health or the dental industry”.

“We who are opposed to fluoridation feel the choice of the people has, in this case, been dismissed as unreliable or ignored," he said.

Mr Freeman encouraged those at the rally to write to local members, councillors and the NSW Ombudsman.

Many at the rally expressed their concerns in regards to a phone poll sponsored by NSW Health and conducted by the Social Research Centre from June 14 to 16 – particularly about the fact only 371 people were surveyed.

Mr Freeman told the Oberon Review a request for an investigation into how the survey was conducted had been submitted.

He said that as a result of the rally, a new committee will be formed and will meet next Tuesday at the Oberon RSL Club at 3.30pm.

"Concerned mothers are door-knocking with a new petition. In just two days, they have received 100 names - all opposed to fluoridation," he said.