Fluoride a State Government responsibility: Council

Redland City Council has passed the decision on fluoridation of the city’s water supply back to the State Government.

Mayor Karen Williams said fluoridation was a health issue and as such was the responsibility of the State Government.

“Fluoridation was forced on councils by the former State Government and the current Government should have accepted responsibility for the issue rather than dumping it in the lap of councils and expecting us to pay to remove fluoride,” Cr Williams said.

“Fluoridation of water supplies has always been – and remains – a health issue, and health is a State responsibility.

“The former Government mandated fluoride in our water without reference to councils so we believe the current Government should decide whether or not fluoride should stay and bear the cost of removing it should councils make that decision on behalf of their communities.

“The cost of removing fluoride is prohibitive to councils – an estimated $32 million in Redland City’s case – so we cannot afford to make the call, even if our community tells us it wants out of fluoride.

“This is an expense we are not willing to force on ratepayers.”

Council today resolved unanimously to write to the Government and ask it to amend legislation to protect councils from the high costs involved in removing fluoride from water supplies.

“We will be asking Energy and Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle to give local government the choice of accepting non-fluoridated water without cost to councils,” Cr Williams said.

“This is a controversial issue with arguments for and against.”