There were cheers and applause in council chambers on Wednesday
as councillors agreed to defer the vote on whether to fluoridate
Bega Valley Shire water supplies.
The motion to defer followed three passionate presentations
supported by community members in the gallery and included
information on fluoride use in other countries.
Rob Slazenger, of Bermagui provided data relating to the use of
of fluoride in a number of western industrialised countries
which he said showed some of the the non-fluoride users had
better dental outcomes than those who did use it.
He also produced records from NSW Health of councils water
fluoridation dosage data. There are four water supply systems
in the Bega Valley Shire, Tantawanglo-Kiah, Brogo-Bermagui, Bemboka
and Bega-Tathra. Fluoride has been added to the Bega-Tathra
water supply system since 1963 and council is now considering
adding fluoride to the Tantawanglo-Kiah and Brogo-Bermagui water
The data supplied by NSW Health appears to show gaps in record
keeping and an extended period of overdosing between March and May
2010. A dose of 1 part per million (ppm) in water is recommended
but overdosing varied from 30 to 97 per cent in the figures
given to Mr Slazenger.
All presentations referenced the possibility of council
referring the decision to NSW Health with speakers reminding
council that it should be councillors own decision.
Greg Ferguson, of Pambula said a transfer of the decision to NSW
Health would be a mockery of the democratic process.
Council would be tainted as gutless. The whole process has been
a sham, Mr Ferguson said adding that the use of Hunter H2O as a
community consultant was a gross conflict of interest.
It was a point not lost on councillor Russell Fitzpatrick who
said he felt no obligation to transfer the matter to NSW
I totally agree its a decision of this council. No way should
there be an abrogation of our authority on this matter, Cr
Fitzpatrick said to applause from the floor.
Director transport and utilities Terry Dodd mentioned the
voluminous nature of material presented.
Given the number of comments it would be unreasonable to try and
digest these today, Mr Dodds said and asked for time to review
*Original article online at