Fluoride win for NSW North Coast

Byron Bay NSW to get fluoridated water
Byron Bay will finally get fluoridated water after a recent Land and Environment Court decision.

Residents on the north coast of NSW will finally get fluoridated water, after  Rous Water and Ballina Shire Council won an appeal in the NSW Land and Environment Court this week. The court awarded costs against Lismore man Al Oshlack, who told ABC local radio he planned to appeal the decision.

“We’ve already done some fund raising to lodge an appeal and as soon as my barristers have looked at it we’ll be proceeding that way, to the Supreme Court of Appeal and following that, if that decision goes against me, we’ll seek leave in the High Court,” Mr Oshlack said. In handing down her judgment on Oshlack v Rous Water and Ballina Council, Justice J Pepper dismissed the appeal and awarded costs to the Councils finding that “because Mr Oshlack had been unsuccessful on all of his grounds of review the summons must be dismissed”.

In 2010 Mr Oshlack initiated legal proceedings against Rous Water/Ballina Shire Council over a decision to undertake a review of environmental factors to allow for the construction of a fluoride dosing plant to allow fluoride to be added to town water supplies in Ballina, Lismore and Wardell.

Chair of Rous Water, Councillor Phillip Silver, welcomed Justice Pepper’s decision.

“This matter has been in the court since early 2010 and I am pleased Justice Pepper found in favour of Rous Water.” Cr Silver said.

“It will now allow us to call for tenders for the construction of the fluoride dosing plant and I expect the project will be completed in approximately 12 months,” he said.

“When completed residents connected to the Rous Water supply in the local government areas of Ballina, Lismore and Richmond Valley, and the Ballina Water supply to Wardell will have fluoride in their water supplies.

“NSW Health promotes fluoride as an effective, efficient and safe approach to the prevention of dental decay in Australia,” Cr Silver said.


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  1. I admire the dedication of such as Mr. Oshlack to question any intervention that may impact on his and others quality of life. Such dedication is squandered by failure of an educatory process to inform effectively the significant benefits that will flow from this process. The mechanistic approach must be condemned if insufficient effort is made to win the hearts and minds of our laudable “Mr. Oshlacks”.

  2. No one should have the right to force this medicine onto people who don’t need it or want it. Not even the the NSW Health Dept.

    If you went to the doctor and he forced you to take medicine that he considers good for your neighbour, you wouldn’t like it would you, and the doctor would probably be struck off the books.

    The distribution of fluoride tablets was taken away from Council back in 1980’s as they were considered not medically qualified to distribute them, to those people who wanted them, in a controlled dosage. Now it seems they are medically qualified to distribute fluoride to people who don’t need it or want it. We are supposed to live in a democratic society, so why didn’t the Council allow us to vote on it.

    There was a vote on it in the Richmond Shire, back in the late 1970’s and the resounding result was “NO”. A lot of the so called research in favour of fluoride is distributed in association with the chemical companies.

    The latest research shows that it is not only poisonous to many people (including babies) it is very unethical to force this onto people who don’t need it, With the new research, there is even doubt now that digesting fluoride has as much benefit as they first thought. Why do they print on fluoridated toothpaste that ‘it is not be swallowed.’
    I really admire the dedication of Mr Oshlack and his helpers. We need to unite in our efforts and and get some people power behind him

  3. This article is misleading by saying “Fluoride win for NSW North Coast.” It maybe a win for the Ballina Shire Councillors who voted for fluoride, apparently without doing very much research, but it is a loss for the majority of residents who don’t need it or want it. The research show that it does more harm than good.

    Is there a solicitor on board to tell us how we stand if we send the account for the purchase of a fluoride filter to the Council. After all we have no contract with them for fluoride so NO CONTRACT/NO PAY. If anyone has any illness or allergies that fluoride is likely to increase, there is a form available on an internet site to fill out and get your doctor to sign. Send it to the Council for reimbursement for the cost of a filter.

    It shouldn’t even have to go to a vote because no one should have the right to force this onto everyone. The research now shows that by ingesting fluoride it is very unlikely that it has any benefits even for 5 – 12 year olds. We need a solicitor on board to help organise a class action state wide as this is going on in every town. At least Byron Bay Councilors had the brains to reject it.

  4. Can anyone tell me who it was in the Health Department, and the Labour Health Minister at the time, who signed the letter that was sent to Councils demanding that they agree to introduce fluoride by a certain date or they would be fined $500 per day. Whoever it was should be sacked. Surely the current Liberal Minister can do something about it.

  5. One needs to have worked as a dental practitioner, focussing on preventive strategies to reduce dental decay, to fully appreciate the value of adding fluoride to public water supplies. After 40 years practising evidence based dentistry and being witness to the ebb and flow of the ‘fluoridation argument’ I am more that ever convinced that the efficiency, efficacy and value of water fluoridation makes it one of the best public health initiatives ever introduced. In my opinion, parents who might inflict the oral disease which is dental caries on their children, by denying them optimal levels of fluoride, are guilty of abuse. For a simple example, look at the caries rate of children in (pre fluoride) Queensland, compared to the States where public, reticulated water is fluoridated. No brainer!


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