Omega Breakspear joined concerned residents to protest against a fluoride plant at Clunes.
Omega Breakspear joined concerned residents to protest against a fluoride plant at Clunes. Cathy Adams

Anti-fluoride protesters hold rally at Clunes dosing plant

ANTI-FLUORIDE campaigners vowed to force a change in Lismore City Council's decision to fluoridate the area's drinking water at a protest held at a Rous Water facility in Clunes yesterday

Over-consumption of fluoride could damage young people's teeth and also aggravate a number of illnesses, including asthma, thyroid disease, and cancers, campaigner Al Oshlack claimed.

Fluoridating the area's water supply, after doing well without it for so long, was a move against international practice, Mr Oshlack said.

Public water supplies across England, Europe and Japan are largely not fluoridated and in Canada and America they are moving against it as well, he said.

"A lot of people in the Lismore area do not want to consume fluoride; it is an industrial waste product," he said.

"People are being forced to drink it without their consent."

Proponents of fluoridation say it has no negative health benefits and does reduce tooth decay.

Rous Water was in the process of building four plants to fluoridate the water it provides on behalf of Lismore City, Richmond Valley and Ballina Shire councils. Byron Shire Council chose not to put fluoride in its water, Wayne Franklin technical service director at Rous Water said.

The program was on schedule to start providing fluorinated water by mid-2015.

The $3.5 million capital costs of the program are being paid for by NSW Health.

Ongoing maintenance costs will ultimately be borne by water consumers, Mr Franklin said.

It would be much cheaper and a more effective health measure to provide fluorinated-bottled water to those that wanted it for free, rather than put a random dosage in everyone's water supply whether they want it or not, Carolyn Russel said.

"Fluoridating the entire main water supply doesn't make sense." Protesters called on like-minded people to lobby councillors.