ARCHIVE Fluoridation Questions & Answers - Release Date 11-Dec-2012: - Queensland councils impacted by the recent fluoridation legislation were given an opportunity to raise questions around the recent changes and Queensland Health agreed to provide responses. This is the compiled list of questions and responses. Please keep qldwater informed of your intentions so that we may look at possible opportunities around the disposal of chemicals, plant and equipment among members.
29 November 2012. Latest Fluoridation Update - Legislative changes made today by the Newman Government will restore local control of fluoride management across Queensland. Amendments were made to the South East Queensland Water (Restructuring) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 meaning more choice for communities in managing fluoride. Under the amendments there is an opportunity for local governments to consider what is in the best interests of their community and move to opt out of fluoridation in the future.
On 5 December 2007, the Premier announced that fluoridation of public water supplies (supporting populations of over 1,000 people and indigenous communities) was to become mandatory across Queensland. Shortly afterwards, qldwater initiated a program of activities to assist members with the transition to fluoridation and to ensure effective ongoing operations and maintenance of the systems including contributing to the State Fluoridation Technical Committee and creating an industry expert panel to inform the fluoridation program.
Water fluoridation has long been accepted as a cost-effective solution for improving oral health in communities, with a significant amount of scientific evidence to support it. However, in November 2012, following sustained pressure from the anti-fluoride lobby, the State Government effectively handed responsibility for decisions on fluoridation back to local communities. qldwater had strongly advocated for appropriate consultation in 2007, however the decision to finally do so after many millions of dollars had been invested in infrastructure can only be described as irresponsible.
In early 2014, the approach to fluoridation across the State has been mixed. In South East Queensland, the water grid has meant that any local government whose community wishes to remove fluoride from their treated water supply must bear the significant cost for changes to infrastructure to make that possible. There is no sunset clause in the legislation, but no council has sought to make this change.
Elsewhere in the State, Councils have either elected to cease or retain dosing through varying degrees of public consultation.
The best current source of information for the community on fluoridation is the Department of Health website. Other member resources are detailed below.