Walt Secord’s fluoridation demand ‘delusional’, ‘playing games’ say Bega Valley councillors

Opposition health spokesman Walt Secord (left) during a recent visit to the South East Regional Hospital with Labor leader Luke Foley and Labor MLC Courtney Houssos.
Opposition health spokesman Walt Secord (left) during a recent visit to the South East Regional Hospital with Labor leader Luke Foley and Labor MLC Courtney Houssos.

Bega Valley Shire councillors have rejected recent comments made by NSW Labor health spokesperson Walt Secord on the issue of water fluoridation.

Mr Secord questioned council’s move to conduct a survey of residents, and demanded state Water Minister Niall Blair intervene and introduce fluoride into the Tantawanglo-Kiah and Brogo-Bermagui water supplies.

Councillor Mitchell Nadin labelled Mr Secord “delusional” over the comments.

“If the NSW government had every intention to override what the community wants, then why the bloody hell did they ask us to get an accurate measurement of what the community wants in the first place?” Cr Nadin said.

“Almost 90 per cent of submissions we received from the community were negative [towards fluoride]. My question to Mr Secord is, why do you hate democracy?”

Cr Cathy Griff, who moved the motion for the survey, said Mr Secord’s comments were “just political game play”.

“We are seeking to get the communities’ view, which we feel is our responsibility to do,’ she said.

“In terms of children’s dental health, all levels of government should be advocating, or taking responsibility for dental health education and the danger of the real culprit – sugar.”

She said the absence of fluoride from drinking water in 97 per cent of Western Europe and Japan, along with her own investigation of independent research via The Cochrane Library was enough for her to question its use.

“We don’t need to ingest it when fluoride is in toothpaste, with no risk of overdose,” Cr Griff said.

Cr Jo Dodds said Mr Secord’s comments seek to remove the decision “from the population most affected by it”, and “falsely conflate the issues of fluoridation and vaccination”.

“When we are given the responsibility for making decisions on topics such as fluoride we take the opinions of our communities very seriously. We also take information provided by NSW Health and other relevant agencies very seriously,” Cr Dodds said.