Both denists said Bundaberg was sitting in the “dental dark ages”, with fluoride being a proven, safe and effective preventive measure for residents. Picture: Thinkstock
Both denists said Bundaberg was sitting in the “dental dark ages”, with fluoride being a proven, safe and effective preventive measure for residents. Picture: Thinkstock

Council snubs re-fluoridation despite dental, medical advice

DENTISTS and medical experts have been unable to sway Fraser Coast deputy mayor Darren Everard's mind over the issue of fluoride.

Councillor Everard met with the experts in October after the Australian Medical and Dental Associations of Queensland warned the 2013 decision to remove fluoride from the region's water supply.

He told the Chronicle fluoridation "was not on my agenda or the council agenda at the moment".

"Our focus remains firmly on providing services to promote health and fitness though our parks and reserves and providing the economic climate for medical and allied health professions to invest in the Fraser Coast," Cr Everard said.

AMAQ president Dr Dhilip Dhupelia said fluoride was the "number one issue" raised at the meeting with the council, which also covered health and fitness issues in the Fraser Coast region.

The meeting was triggered after the council was criticised in September for opting out of water fluoridation in 2013, saying the region was condemned to a "dental dark age".

AMAQ president Dr Dhilip Dhupelia said it was disappointing local councils, including the Fraser Coast council, were not prepared to place fluoride on their agendas.

He revealed he was approaching the State Government and Health Minister Steven Miles over the issue.

"We know that he is aware of the evidence as presented and we have agreed to place this onto my next agenda when I meet with him in the New Year," Dr Dhupelia said.

"Fluoridation of water is an ethical public health issue.

"AMA Queensland will not be letting up in our advocacy for fluoridation because it is the right thing to do."

The Fluoride Act, passed by the Bligh Labor Government in 2008, required councils to add fluoride to town water supplies serving more than 1000 people.

Legislative amendments by the Newman Government, passed in 2012, handed the choice to fluoridate back to Queensland councils.

The Fraser Coast voted 8-3 to stop adding fluoride to its water supply in February 2013