Fluoride focus of Molong meeting: ‘now it’s time to act swiftly’

IN FAVOUR: Dr Anthony Brown spoke in favour of adding fluoride to Molong’s water supply at Tuesday’s information session. Photo: CONTRIBUTEDAFTER what she describes as more than four years of frustrating lobbying and stalling from Cabonne Council, Rural Dental Action Group advocate Marj Bollinger is satisfied fluoride could be added to Molong’s water “in the not so distant future”.

Mrs Bollinger attended Tuesday night’s Cabonne Council community information session, which included advice from dental health professionals and council staff addressing the pros and cons for fluoride introduction.

Molong remains one of a handful of towns in NSW without fluoride in the water system, despite Mrs Bollinger appealing for its introduction in June, 2010.

“Over the years I have been extremely frustrated with Cabonne Council for their lack of action on this issue especially following community consultation and subsequent survey in 2011 when, in my opinion, the issue could have ended with the stroke of a pen in favour from Cabonne Council,” Mrs Bollinger said.

“After the meeting [on Tuesday] I cameaway prepared to accept the answer from council staff as to why council has taken so long and trust they will come to a conclusion to fluoridate Molong water supply.”

Cabonne Council communications and media officer Dale Jones said ultimately the final say belonged to the Department of Health.

“Several years ago Cabonne Council resolved to refer the issue to the Department of Health for determination because we are not health experts in this area,” he said.

“This means the decision eventually will be made by the department’s director general.

“The department goes through an extensive process before making any decision and we understand the department is close to concluding that study.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, NSW Oral Health’s Dr Shanti Sivaneswaran and Anthony Brown from Sydney University’s school of rural health highlighted startling improvements in oral health and declines in dental decay since fluoridation began in Australia.

Mrs Bollinger said council and the Department of Health had no alternative but to add fluoride to the water supply.

“The reasoning to delay any decision was because council had no real knowledge regarding the benefits or otherwise on fluoride, so it was necessary to act responsibly and take their time to get it right by seeking clarification from the appropriate health authorities, which they now appear to have done,” she said.

“Now it’s time to act swiftly.”

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