Councils get five years to add flouride
By LEE McIVORlmcivor@gladstoneobserver.com.au
LOCAL councils have been given five years to introduce flouride into their water supplies or face having it made a mandatory requirement.
Premier Peter Beattie has reopened the long-running debate on flouridation by announcing financial and legislative support for local councils to add flouride to their water supplies.
Mr Beattie said the government would repay all capital costs associated with introducing flouridation in communities with populations of more than 5000 people.
Calliope Shire Council CEO Graeme Kanofski said he was stunned at the behaviour of the state government.
'Normally we have discussions on matters of such importance as this before the state government makes a public comment,' he said
'In this case there has been no discussion prior to Mr Beattie's announcement.
'We have just had this dumped on us.'
Mr Kanofski said it was too early to make any comment on what the council would do.
'Responding to a press statement is just not how we do do things,' he said.
Gladstone City Council CEO Julie Reitano said it was too early to make a comment on the proposal.
'The matter has just hit the table and council has not had time to even discuss Mr Beattie's proposal.'
But yesterday Mr Beattie added to the uproar by offering to take control of the state's water supplies.
He said the state government could take over responsibility for water supplies from local councils.
'If the councils are concerned about introducing it and the costs, then I say to the councils today, 'hand your water over to us and we'll do it',' he said.