Coalition votes down Bill to force councils to fluoridate
A BILL that would have forced all NSW councils to allow fluoridation of their water supplies has been voted down in the State Parliament.
The Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies Ammendment Bill 2013 went before the NSW Legislative Assembly today, where it was rejected by the combined vote of the Liberal and National parties.
The Bill had been introduced to the Parliament by the Labor party after Byron Shire Council last year voted against fluoridation and would have given the government the power to order councils to add fluoride to their water. It would also have prevented councils from stopping water fluoridation without first gaining approval of the NSW Health director general.
In a statement released a short time ago, Labor Health spokesman Andrew MsDonald lamented the failure of the Bill to pass the Lower House.
"It is a tragedy for the dental health of the people of NSW that the Liberals and Nationals have used brute numbers to block this vital reform," Dr McDonald is quoted saying in the statement.
"From today, no community or local council in NSW is safe from attack from the anti-fluoridation lobby.
"The scientific evidence is in - every day that our drinking water does not contain fluoride, our teeth and our children's teeth are at risk of preventable decay.
"Labor does not want to see the situation on the north coast repeated across NSW - where local councils can be intimidated into opposing fluoridation by a fringe element of the community.
"The O'Farrell Government had a once-in-a-generation chance to protect the dental health of every child in NSW. Instead Barry O'Farrell and nine other Coalition MPs did not even bother to vote.
"By hitching themselves to the anti-fluoridation circus, the NSW Liberals and Nationals have failed our children's dental health."