Eden Magnet Letters to the Editor, September 21

Eden's Liz Henderson with Echo, 9 months, at the Far South Coast Maternity Advisory Group's R U OK Day event that encouraged mums to talk about postpartum depression.
Eden's Liz Henderson with Echo, 9 months, at the Far South Coast Maternity Advisory Group's R U OK Day event that encouraged mums to talk about postpartum depression.

Clear call on fluoride

The ratepayers and residents of this shire have clearly indicated they do not wish to undergo municipal water fluoridation. Petitions, online polls, media reaction and community feedback heavily favour blocking fluoridation. 

In a healthy democracy a decisive community majority should count. Council’s role is to represent your local communities' wishes, not state government agencies, nor water industry interests, nor the fluoride waste industry.

The council meeting agenda fluoridation item content is factually inaccurate, incomplete, misleading and biased. Not for the first time, council staff appear to be flouting objective, independent process and acting against the wishes and interests of our communities. This Council's so-called "community consultative process" has been flawed from the outset.

Options for councillors are not limited to just rolling over, either approving fluoridation, or delegating to NSW Health. Councillors are entitled to vote against fluoridation, which is expected by your ratepayers, or defer the matter for 10 years. There are several shires in NSW, and many across the rest of Australia, that have banned water fluoridation altogether. Those councillors have listened to, and acted on behalf of, their rate-payers and residents. So should you!

The outgoing director states council "is in the process of planning and building water treatment plants", insinuating fluoride plants could be paralleled. More nonsense! Council has acknowledged it has minimal capacity to, nor any intention of, upgrading water systems for at least a further eight years. From where would the estimated $40 million expenditure be sourced?

The fluoridation proposal would not only prove costly, but also be burdened by long-term public health risks, with no statistically-significant dental health benefits (as measured globally by the World Health Organisation, comparing DMFT data in 2014). 

Your communities urge councillors to step up to the plate, display some courage and much common sense, uphold democracy, support public health, and vote against water fluoridation.

Rob Slazenger, Bermagui

Environment needs funds

Recently I attended a meeting to discuss ways to secure ongoing funding to support the Protecting the Wilderness Coast Project, a highly effective and economical local initiative running for a decade. I represented volunteer group Bermagui Dune Care, and thanks to this project, rather than spending our limited time constantly weeding sea spurge from local beaches as we once did, we take on revegetation work at sites such as Cuttagee Headland.

The project has resulted in a tremendous reduction in weeds and garbage, yet receives very few accolades from the community. The tourism industry promotes the attractions of our “pristine” coastline, but how many people know why it is in such excellent condition. 

Council, Local Land Services, National Parks and Wildlife Service and Eurobodalla Shire Council all contribute funding, with the rest coming from a seven year grant from the NSW Environmental Trust, overseen by the Far South Coast Landcare Association. There is no ongoing certainty about the project funding, and it is probable the NSW Environmental Trust funding, which has been vital, will end mid 2018.

Without this support our beaches will soon again be degraded with sea spurge, bitou, daisies and a myriad other weeds. Garbage would soon become problematic.

Just as roads, health and education services receive recurring funding so should environmental stewardship, rather than its present  funding model which is only fitful and discontinuous. If the NSW government can find millions of dollars to build sports stadiums with their recent windfall, then why can’t the environment benefit too? 

Karen Joynes, Bermagui Dune Care