Port Macquarie-Hastings' mayor will push for a poll on water fluoridation to coincide with the next local government election.
According to the February 19 council meeting agenda, Mayor Peta Pinson will move a motion for a poll to run in conjunction with the September 2020 election.
The poll will enable the community to indicate whether they would like council to continue to add fluoride to the water supply or otherwise.
"I would like to propose that the general manager be requested to report to council in March 2020 and detail the approximate costs, process and proposed wording of such poll, asking whether council should be adding fluoride to the water supply, or not," Cr Pinson outlined in the meeting's agenda.
Council currently adds fluoride to the Hastings water supply during the treatment process.
This is in accordance with the Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies Act 1957 and the NSW Code of Practice for Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies 2011. The process has been in effect since February 2012.
Cr Pinson said the addition of fluoride to water supplies throughout the world has come under scrutiny in recent times with many studies detailing the positive effects of adding fluoride to water for the community.
In contrast, Cr Pinson said other studies indicate negative health impacts for the community as a result of the addition of fluoride.
Water restrictions are also set to be discussed at the February 19 meeting, where it's recommended a move from level 4 to level 3 water restrictions should only occur once the Total Combined Storage (TCS) of local dams increases above 48 per cent.
According to the council agenda, since moving into level 3 water restrictions on November 25, 2019 and further moving onto level 4 severe water restrictions on January 28, there has been a 16 per cent reduction in total water demand for the summer period.
This is in comparison to the same time period last year, when there were no water restrictions in place.
The agenda also outlined the recent rainfall and above average rainfall for the start of February 2020 has improved the region's immediate water security situation.
It has resulted in a TCS increase from 37.9 per cent to 41 per cent after seven days of river extraction.
At the meeting, councillor Rob Turner will seek clarification from the general manager about the Department of Industry Crown Lands' position on the construction of new ocean tidal pools and the information required for consideration of landowner's consent.
During the election campaign for the marginal seat of Cowper, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a re-elected Coalition government would commit $4.5 million dollars to a tidal pool in Port Macquarie.
The $4.5 million grant was promised despite Port Macquarie-Hastings councillors voting to place on the record that a tidal pool is not a priority for council in May 2018.
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