'Toxic chemical': Gladstone woman tells of 'agony' from fluoride
SITTING in a wheelchair outside the council chambers Dell Darrach had never been happier.
Dell campaigned since 2013 to remove fluoride from Gladstone's water supply and today the battle ended as councillors voted to remove the "toxic chemical".
"I've never been happier in all my life," she said of the decision.
"Within a few months of having it in the water I developed constant diarrhoea. Every day I was doubled up in agony.
"If I hadn't found out it was fluoride, I'd be dead because my bowels couldn't handle any more punishment."
A full gallery applauded the councillors' decision, a "rowdy minority" according to the council's No.1 ticket holder, Tex Newberry.
"The health benefits are obvious. They're not for adults, but for the children," he said.
"The evidence is clear that it's good for children."
Councillor Kahn Goodluck introduced his first motion since being voted in on March 19 by saying most people he had spoken to did not want fluoride in the water.
Councillors Chris Trevor, Cindi Bush and Rick Hansen voted to keep fluoride in the water and Cr PJ Sobhanian didn't vote due to a conflict of interest as a committee member of Australian Dental Association.
Now the motion has been passed there will be 30 days of public notice and a further eight days for Gladstone Area Water Board to remove the fluoride.
But Gladstone Area Fluoride Free administrator Barbara Smith said it would take three months for the water to be safe to drink.
And her next challenge would be to campaign in other local government areas that still have fluoride in their water.