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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Health
    The Honourable Lawrence Springborg

    Fluoride Bill - LNP brings Queensland councils back to the table

    Minister for Health
    The Honourable Lawrence Springborg

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

    Fluoride Bill - LNP brings Queensland councils back to the table

    Legislative changes made by the Newman Government will restore local control of fluoride management across Queensland.

    Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said months of debate about the state-wide rollout of fluoride treatment had convinced the Government to re-establish a role for local authorities in the decision-making process.

    The change, revealed in legislation presented to Parliament today, means that communities still considering options for fluoride treatment will decide for themselves if and when to proceed.

    “The Government is convinced by the strong advice of health authorities that endorse fluoride treatment,” Mr Springborg said.

    “Eighty seven per cent of Queenslanders have fluoride included in their local water supplies.

    “However, while we continue to advocate for the inclusion of fluoride, we retain a strong philosophical commitment to local decision-making.

    “Across this state, water supplies are the responsibility of local authorities and they will no longer be sidelined in this debate.”

    Mr Springborg said the legislative requirement for fluoridisation implemented by the former Government would end under the South East Queensland Water (Restructuring) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012.

    “Until 2014, the LNP will continue to provide funding for fluoride infrastructure where councils request it,” he said.

    “The philosophy of the LNP is to work with councils and to support informed debate and decision-making at the local level.

    “We have implemented this philosophy in the management of Queensland hospitals and now it extends to councils and their traditional role in water supply.”

    Mr Springborg said councils were active partners for the State Government in many areas of shared health responsibility.

    “Issues such as food safety and immunisation programmes bring us together in pursuit of common goals,” he said.

    “Local authorities are accountable to the communities they serve. Re-empowering councils will encourage greater local awareness and increased support for a joint effort in water treatment and for higher standards, state-wide.”

    [ENDS] 29 November 2012

    Contact: Cameron Thompson 0407 585 230