Residents on the north coast of NSW will finally get fluoridated water, after Rous Water and Ballina Shire Council won an appeal in the NSW Land and Environment Court this week. The court awarded costs against Lismore man Al Oshlack, who told ABC local radio he planned to appeal the decision.
“We’ve already done some fund raising to lodge an appeal and as soon as my barristers have looked at it we’ll be proceeding that way, to the Supreme Court of Appeal and following that, if that decision goes against me, we’ll seek leave in the High Court,” Mr Oshlack said. In handing down her judgment on Oshlack v Rous Water and Ballina Council, Justice J Pepper dismissed the appeal and awarded costs to the Councils finding that “because Mr Oshlack had been unsuccessful on all of his grounds of review the summons must be dismissed”.
In 2010 Mr Oshlack initiated legal proceedings against Rous Water/Ballina Shire Council over a decision to undertake a review of environmental factors to allow for the construction of a fluoride dosing plant to allow fluoride to be added to town water supplies in Ballina, Lismore and Wardell.
Chair of Rous Water, Councillor Phillip Silver, welcomed Justice Pepper’s decision.
“This matter has been in the court since early 2010 and I am pleased Justice Pepper found in favour of Rous Water.” Cr Silver said.
“It will now allow us to call for tenders for the construction of the fluoride dosing plant and I expect the project will be completed in approximately 12 months,” he said.
“When completed residents connected to the Rous Water supply in the local government areas of Ballina, Lismore and Richmond Valley, and the Ballina Water supply to Wardell will have fluoride in their water supplies.
“NSW Health promotes fluoride as an effective, efficient and safe approach to the prevention of dental decay in Australia,” Cr Silver said.
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