Gavin King

TropicNow editor

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Council makes final decision on fluoride

A vote by Cairns councillors makes the decision not to fluoridate the local water supply clear and final.


The Cairns water supply will not be fluoridated, full stop.

That’s the final position of Cairns Regional Council after a resolution was passed by councillors this morning.

The councillors cited divided public opinion on fluoride as the key driver behind its decision.

Despite overwhelming support for fluoridation within the medical and dental community, the recent Our Cairns survey of nearly 6800 residents showed 48 percent of people were in favour of putting fluoride back into the water supply.

But with 38 percent of respondents against the move, Mayor Bob Manning said there was no “overwhelming majority” support either for or against fluoridation.

In the resolution passed at a council meeting this morning, the councillors called on the State Government to find alternative methods of delivering fluoride to “those who are most in need of improved oral health care outcomes”.

“The Our Cairns survey, for the first time, told us why people are opposed to fluoridation,” Cr Manning said.

“The overwhelming majority of those who oppose fluoride truly believe that ingesting it will harm their physical health in some way.

“When you read the comments, you come to realise the depth of their convictions on this issue and there is no doubt they will not shift in their position.

“It is also clear that fluoride is a State issue and if you believe that children in this state have poorer oral health than others, surely it’s time for Queensland Health to take responsibility for this issue as it does for other public health matters.

“But even if the State Government took back the responsibility of fluoride, it would be faced with the same issue we have been – that being gaining the express consent of a significant majority of the community.

“That being the case, it is clear that Queensland Health needs to identify other ways that fluoride could be delivered to those most in need of improved oral health care outcomes.”