GUNNEDAH could have fluoride in its water by 2020 after Gunnedah Shire Council (GSC) commenced the process to fluoridate the towns water supply.
The decision to accept a proposal to add fluoride to the water supply was passed in December when council resolved to write to NSW Health to commence the water fluoridation process.
GSC’s infrastructure services’ acting director Daniel Noble said the council will continue to investigate the best way to implement the water fluoridation project.
“As per council resolution, council has written to NSW Health requesting approval to commence fluoridation of the Gunnedah water supply in accordance with section six of the fluoridation of public water supplies act,” Mr Noble said.
“In preparation for approval, the council will continue to investigate best practice for planning and implementing the fluoridation project, and refine the planning and construction documentation required to build the fluoride dosing station and associated infrastructure.
“Fluoridation of the Gunnedah water supply is expected to commence in 2020.”
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The news has been met with resistance by fluoride opponents, including Gunnedah’s Wendy Carpenter who said the Facebook group “It’s ok to say no to fluoride in Gunnedah’s water” will continue to lobby against water fluoridation.
“We will keep fighting because I know there are a lot of people who are unhappy with the decision,” Mrs Carpenter said.
“I think for the time being it’s important for us to let the dust settle and see where we exactly go from here.
“We are going to keep informing people of material that is out there and helping them to see the risks of fluoride.”
The Gunnedah local said the debate had started an open discussion about fluoride.
“The best thing is a lot more people know about it that otherwise wouldn’t have,” she said.
“It shouldn’t be an emotive decision and I think with more discussion and sharing of facts it becomes less emotive.”
Gunnedah dentist Dr Karthikeyan Muthusamy welcomed debate.
“It’s important to have these types of discussions about dental health,” he said.
“It shows people care about dental health and for me it is very pleasing that fluoridation will go ahead as consistent slow fluoride is what’s best for dental health.”