Push to stop fluoridation of Tatura water

By Morgan Dyer

More than half of Tatura’s adult population have signed a petition to stop fluoride being added to the town's water supply.

Fifteen residents have formed the Anti-Fluoridation Action Group, which has been leading the movement to stop the chemical being added.

With almost 2000 people having signed the petition, group chair Sharon Hopkins said it showed Tatura residents did not want fluoride in their water.

“We held a town meeting on a wintry July night, but more than 200 people still turned up to listen and voice their concerns,” Ms Hopkins said.

“Out of that 200, only four people wanted the fluoride in their water and that’s when we decided to push the campaign further.”

Although the Department of Health and Human Services is yet to confirm whether fluoride will be introduced, the department has partnered with Goulburn Valley Water to conduct a feasibility study.

Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said research consistently showed having access to fluoridated water from an early age was associated with less tooth decay in young children and adults.

“We support the extension of water fluoridation as a key public health measure — with 90 per cent of Victorians already having access to fluoridated drinking water,” Ms Mikakos said.

“We’re currently looking at the feasibility of adding fluoride to Tatura’s drinking water supply, following a request from a local community action group; however, there is no formal proposal at this stage.”

Ms Hopkins handed a four-part submission objecting to the fluoridation to Goulburn Valley Water on Friday but general manager for planning and assets Daniel Hughes said the company took no view on government fluoridation policy.

“We have no role in the decision to fluoridate a town’s drinking water supply and will only act when directed by DHHS,” Mr Hughes said.

“We have received a copy of the petition and will note it, but any final decision about fluoridating a water supply in any town remains with DHHS.”

The idea of adding fluoride to the town was actioned by a local member at a town planning meeting earlier in the year.

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