Labor moves to force councils to fluoridate water

Shadow minister for health and the north coast Walt Secord. Photo AAP Image/Mark Graham

On Tuesday (February 13), Labor introduced legislation in the NSW Parliament to create tough new fluoride laws it claims would ‘override the anti-fluoride movement’ and effectively force councils like Byron Shire to fluoridate their water.

The laws would give the NSW health minister additional powers to direct local councils and water authorities to add fluoride to their drinking water supply.

It would enable the health minister to direct a water supply authority to add fluorine to its public water supply, increasing tenfold the maximum penalties for failure to do so (from $5,500 to $50,000).

‘Like anti-vaxxers’

NSW shadow health minister Walt Secord, who introduced the Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies Amendment (Community Water Protection) Bill 2018 into the NSW Parliament’s Legislative Council, has likened the resistance to water fluoridation to the anti-vaxxer movement

Of 53 non-fluoridated water supply systems in NSW with a population of at least 500 people, Byron Bay and Mullumbimby are among the top 10.

Mr Secord cites the World Health Organisation, the Australian Medical Association and the Australian Dental Association together with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare as supporting fluoridation.

But he claims local councils and local water authorities ‘are becoming reluctant to combat or confront the anti-fluoride activists.’

‘Fluoride is one of the great public health achievements,’ he said, adding, ‘it is mind boggling that any group would oppose its introduction.’

‘We are seeing a repeat of the same tactics being used by the anti-vaxxer movement now occurring in the area of fluoride. They are irresponsible and irrational views.’

Communities ‘want fluoride’

‘The proposed new laws are sensible and give the health minister the power to direct a recalcitrant local water authority to put fluoride into the community’s drinking water.

‘The community’s views are very clear on this issue. They want fluoride in their drinking water and a tiny group of conspiracy theories should not hold the whole community to ransom.

‘Fluoride protects our teeth and overall dental health leads to a healthier overall person.’

‘We owe it to the next generation to give them the best and healthiest start in life. Good dental hygiene and health affect the overall person’s health outcomes.

‘Our nation’s children should not have to risk unnecessary tooth decay and dental problems,’ he said.

Anti-fluoride campaigner Al Oshlack. (Darren Coyne)

‘Fanatical support’

But Mr Secord’s claims have been refuted by Fluoride Free Northern Rivers (FFNR) spokesperson Al Oshlack, who said his move risked Labor’s chances for election in the region with his ‘fanatical support for fluoride’.

‘I told Walt that what he is doing by carrying on like this – coming after people on the North Coast – puts Labor at risk of holding those state seats, Mr Oshlack told Echonetdaily.

He added that lumping fluoride opponents with anti-vaxxers was ‘insulting’

Mr Oshlack said the group had ‘four clear reasons for opposing fluoride’.

‘It doesn’t work; it’s not ethical; it’s actually illegal, as it’s not been approved as a therapeutic substance by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA); and there have been systemic breakdowns in many fluoride plants, including here in the Northern Rivers,’ he said.

‘There’s no doubt at all that water fluoridation is detrimental, both to human health and the environment,’ he added, citing cases in the Hunter Valley and in Queensland where fluoride had leaked into waterways.

‘I can’t see why health department bureaucrats or councillors have the right to force a medication in the water supply – there’s no grounds for it and they’re not qualified to make these types of decisions.

‘If water fluoridation is therapeutic, why is it not registered as a medication under the Therapeutic Goods Act?’ he queried.

Last year FFNR considered taking out a Federal Court challenge to establish the legality of fluoridation.

Mr Oshlack said that matter is currently on hold while the court considers a related issue regarding the TGA’s position on fluoride.

Systemic failures

FFNR took out several GIPAs (freedom of information requests) on Rous Water last year, which Mr Oshlack said showed ‘systemic failures in its fluoridation system.

‘Rous Water runs four fluoride plants and our GIPAs have revealed that there have been systemic breakdowns.

‘The Corndale plant, which is the biggest in the area, was flooded during a flood.

‘There’ve been at least 10 complete breakdowns of the plant, in which highly concentrated fluoridated water has escaped into the plant, involving clean-ups requiring it to be shut down for up to five weeks at a time.

Despite reports in Echonetdaily and other media at the time, Mr Oshlack said, ‘Rous Water did deny or refute any of the allegations we made.’


7 thoughts on “Labor moves to force councils to fluoridate water

  1. Maximum Penalty $$$

    This is about MONEY
    This is about POWER – “I am GOD here & not you,” our politicians are telling us.

    It is a sad realisation, to reach the pinnacle of your political career, only to discover, that you are merely a SERVANT OF THE PEOPLE.
    And Not GOD.

    And I’ll tell you what else is wrong here:
    They realise that they should be BILLIONAIRE
    – like the noe-cons of the USA & they are not.
    – or the Aristocracy of the EU & they are not.
    DISSATISFACTION has set in:
    I have read in mainstream news outlets – that Our Malcolm Turnbull is worth $200.000.000 – that is two hundred million dollars & his lovely home on Sydney Harbor is to the value of $50.000.000 – that is fifty million dollars.
    He is a PAUPER.

  2. Elite Daily:

    Man Tell Heartbreaking Story Of How He Wasted His Life by Emily Arata.

    Life slips by so quickly.

    Often we aren’t even aware our lives aren’t taking the shape we’d hoped. It’s easy to settle for a job or a relationship, rather than make decisions that create the person you’d like to become.
    Redditor John Jerryson, 46, posted on a forum called Today I F’cked Up.
    Usually these posts are funny, unfortunate accidents that happen throughout the day.
    But this man posted his story with the title TIFU my whole life.
    Nearing middle age John Jerryson explains how he wasted his life & became a stranger to himself.
    Hundreds of people have since responded to John Jerryson, sharing their inspirational thoughts or pain empathy.
    The full text is there to read.

  3. Isn’t this called Mid-Life Crisis?
    And shouldn’t these men & women be in counselling?
    And not running the nation,

  4. There is nothing funny here.
    this is a very serious condition – people suffer serious & debilitating depression & some never recover – some become suicidal & some kill themselves.
    Most of the time sufferers seek out alcohol & drugs to “FIX” the problem which only makes the condition worse.
    Our politicians see the opulent power brokers of the USA & the EU & lament their meager existence.

  5. Fluoride is highly toxic and a cumulative poison, like lead, arsenic, and mercury. I have asked many forced-fluoridation fanatics to tell me how much accumulated fluoride in the body they think is safe. So far not a single one of them has been able to answer the question. It is unlikely to just be a coincidence that the US, Australia, and Ireland, which have had high rates of forced-fluoridation for decades, also have high rates of joint problems, and poor health outcomes in general.

  6. The fluoride that is dumped in the water supply is different to the natural fluoride found in some environments where it is thought to be beneficial for teeth. It is a toxic byproduct of the mining industry which would cost mining companies a fortune to dispose of safely and legally.
    So instead WE pay them to poison our water with their rubbish.
    The upside for governments is fluoride helps to keep the population dumbed down and compliant and they no doubt enjoy donations from the mining companies as well.

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