Dear Beagle Editor, Your readers in the south following the fluoride issue might be interested in our latest media release to fluoridate or not to fluoridate …
The Bega Valley Shire Residents & Ratepayers Association (BVSRRA) applauds this week’s decision by Bega Valley Shire Council (BVSC) to pursue an independent survey of shire residents to determine if they support the fluoridation of the shire’s water supply systems.
While BVSC has resolved to pursue an independent survey, the BVSRRA believes that there are some critical parameters that will need to be satisfied such that councillors can rely on the result to inform their decision-making & for the community to accept their final decision.
To be credible & believable, the BVSRRA believes that the survey must be organised and coordinated by BVSC & conducted by a reputable & independent organisation, with the opinions of a genuinely representative sample of around 500 adults from across the shire being sought.
While the BVSRRA acknowledges that the original consultation process was not extended to all residents, it believes that it is important to include the entire adult population, given that numerous residents not connected to the shire’s drinking water services may attend workplaces where the water is fluoridated, their children may attend a school where the water is fluoridated or they or their children may attend events or visit locations in the shire where the water is fluoridated.
In addition, the BVSRRA notes that a number of the passionate addresses opposing fluoridation made to council meetings were made by residents who live in areas such as Tathra & Bega where the drinking water is already fluoridated. Given that they were never afforded the opportunity to express their views on the issue when it was introduced, the BVSRRA believes that their opinions should be sought in the survey & should a majority oppose the ongoing fluoridation of their water supply, then council should cease fluoridating that supply.
The BVSRRA understands the challenges that this issue has presented for council, so it commends its decision to pursue a clearer understanding of the community’s view on the issue, in order to make a fully informed decision.
Bega Valley Shire Residents & Ratepayers Association