Fluoride protesters rally outside Rous Water office

Protestors place signs up around the Rouse Water building in Lismore. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Protestors place signs up around the Rouse Water building in Lismore. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

PROTESTERS against fluoridation of town water supplies held a rally outside the office of Rous Water in Lismore yesterday even though control over the issue has past to the state government.

Up to 20 protesters held placards and rallied against what they see as the "mass medication" of the region now that Rous Water is set to add fluoride to the mains water supply sometime after July, media spokeswomen Omega Breakspear said.

Protesters also argue that their right to clean and healthy drinking water have been taken away, Khem Vall said.

"If fluoride was important to some people then they should juts take fluoride tablets," he said.

"They are not giving us a choice, and we didn't consent to this" he said.

There are also health implications associated with fluoride intake, especially when doses are largely uncontrolled, as is the case when it is added to drinking water.

Kyme Lavelle general manager with Rous Water met with the protesters and explained the decision to put fluoride in the water supply was "way out of our hands," he said.

"We are complying with a direction issued by the state government," he said.

"Rous Water does not have the power to stop anything," he said.

The construction of plant required to add the fluoride to water supply was on track he said.

"We should be adding fluoride early in the new financial year," he said.

When the Lismore Council voted in favour of adding fluoride to the water supply they also gave the power over this decision to the Health Department, Mayor Jenny Dowell said.

This has now been gazetted by the government, and in no other NSW case has such a decision been reversed she said.

But protesters take heart from Queensland where 24 councils have rejected putting fluoride in their water after the state government gave the power over water supplies back to local authorities in 2013.

Fluoridated water will be supplied to most town water users in the Ballina, Lismore and Richmond Valley Council areas.

Casino is already supplied with fluoridated water. Fluoridated water will not be supplied to Byron Shires town water customers nor town water customers in Nimbin.