BYRON Shire Council's decision to keep fluoride out of its water supply will put more financial pressure on other Northern Rivers councils, the chairman of Rous Water has said.
Councillor Sue Meehan said Byron's decision would have an impact on every other council in the region.
Because Byron will not allow fluoride to be added to its water supply, Rous Water will have to build four dosing plants - one each at Corndale, Dorroughby, Clunes and Knockrow. If Byron Shire had accepted fluoride, Rous Water would only have had to build two plants, one at its Nightcap water treatment plant and another at Emigrant Creek Dam.
"This is going to mean extra costs for the rest of the community," Cr Meehan said.
"The costs of capital works for the fluoride dosing plants will be covered by the State Government.
"It will cost $2 million to build the four dosing plants, but it would have cost only $1 million for two.
"Running the four plants will cost $293,000 each year.
"But that amount, if we only had two plants, would be halved."
Cr Meehan said it meant that councils across the Northern Rivers would face increased operational costs every year.
Ballina Shire Council's annual costs for fluoridation will be $106,000, but if Byron's water supply was fluoridated, that figure would decrease to $56,000.
It's a similar story for other councils. For example Lismore will pay $95,000 a year instead of $51,000, and Richmond Valley Council will pay $18,000 instead of $9500, Cr Meehan said.
Lismore City Council will vote on fluoride on December 10.
ORGANISERS of a public fluoride forum in the Lismore CBD this afternoon are aiming for it to be an unbiased and informative event for all.
The F-Word Forum is promising a cross-section of perspectives on the issue.
Speaking invitations have been extended to doctors, dentists, naturopaths, councillors, other health and legal professionals and representatives from Rous Water along with members of the public.
The event has been organised by Safe Water Northern Rivers, an anti-fluoride group, although organisers have endeavoured to invite a broad spectrum of speakers.
"Fluoridation is an issue that raises legal, health, environmental and social considerations; we hope to discuss this issue in a non-biased and mutually inclusive way," said organiser Emma Silberstein.
"The objective is to encourage discussion around this very important issue and find some common ground from which we can go forward as a community."
Each speaker will have 10 minutes to present their viewpoint with questions.
The forum will run from 3-7pm in Magellan St, Lismore.
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