More questions for Oberon Council about fluoride

Questions keep coming for council as fluoride debate bubbles away

THE questions kept coming about the move to fluoridate the water supply when a packed gallery attended Oberon Council's ordinary meeting last week.

Phillip Haynes, who was one of those who spoke, said no matter what council thought about the recent community-led household poll, it was clear 75 per cent of Oberon residents did not want fluoride.

"I remind councillors that at the next council election, those who voted to include fluoride into our water would struggle to get voted back on council,” he said.

“The next voted council can stop fluoridation. This could take up to 10 years to implement."

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Rachael Maher said the decision ultimately belonged to the residents of the community as to whether to add fluoride to the reticulated water supply.

She said this has been eclipsed by the idea that the decision lies within council.

"Why discredit those opposed to fluoridation and why not work with them?" she asked.

Phillip Haynes.

Phillip Haynes.

Hardy Draheim asked council where the money was coming from to run the fluoridation plant and whether the general manager could enlighten ratepayers how the fluoride operating cost would be funded.

He asked whether the cost would be distributed evenly across all ratepayers and whether council would be discriminating against those living out of town as the decision to fluoridate was meant to be in the best interests of all ratepayers.

"Last week a law was passed for it to be mandatory to warn pregnant women on all alcoholic drinks,” he said. 

He asked whether Oberon would be the first council to acknowledge signs must be put up on all taps, just like on all alcoholic drinks, warning pregnant women not to consume fluoride. 

Mayor Kathy Sajowitz said council would take all these questions on notice for further consultation.

Oberon Council voted 5-3 at its meeting in July to add fluoride to the water as a dental health measure.

A subsequent attempt to reverse the decision failed.