Barry O'Farrell, a supporter of fluoridation, respects the rights of councils to decide for themselves. Photograph: DanHimbrechts/(AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)
NSW premier Barry O'Farrell says he does not believe the state government should takecontrol of water fluoridation from local councils, despite his condemnation of somecouncils' decision to stop it.Ballina council is the latest to debate the issue, with a vote expected on Thursday todecide whether it will join nearby Lismore and 17 Queensland councils that have votedno to fluoridation this year.The NSW health minister, Jillian Skinner, has asked her department to prepare adiscussion paper on whether the state government should take over the responsibility from individual councils. Public comment will be invited, she says.But on Thursday, O'Farrell told reporters he supported the right of councils to decidefor themselves."It's appropriate that local councils should continue making those decisions," he said.
Australian Associated Presstheguardian.com, Thursday 22 August 2013 16.46 AEST
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