Fluoride fighter in legal action

ANTI-FLUORIDE campaigner Al Oshlack has launched legal action to prevent the fluoridation of water supplies on the NSW North Coast.

The summons, lodged with the NSW Land and Environment Court last Friday, lists three respondents: RousWater, Ballina Shire Council, and Lismore City Council.

Mr Oshlack said the action was designed to stop Ballina council from building a fluoridation plant at Marom Creek.

He said Lismore council was also included in the action because its June 2006 decision to approve fluoridation had lapsed and was now void.

Mr Oshlack said he was also seeking leave to subpoena Lismore councillor David Yarnall to give evidence regarding a legal threat by Rous Water that if councillors voted against the fluoridation proposal they would be fined.

“Cr Yarnall was elected on a platform opposing fluoridation of the city water supply. He can explain to a judge what had occurred to cajole him to change his vote,” Mr Oshlack said.

“The fluoride debate in NSW is a sorry history of misinformation, bullying, standover tactics and threats whereby statutory bodies, public officers and elected representatives are being coerced.”

Cr Yarnall told the Rous Water meeting in April that controversially approved the fluoridation: “This is incredibly frustrating. I still think the review of environmental factors is inadequate, but we are being told by legal advice that we have effectively been ordered to do this and that there is no room to move.

“I find this extremely distressing as it takes away our democratic rights. I unfortunately feel we have no alternative at this stage. I am not prepared to put my personal wellbeing at risk and incur penalties from a government department which is happy to squash an individual who steps outside the line.”

The case is listed for mention on August 13.

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