HEALTH professionals have hit out at Bundaberg Regional Council's decision not to go ahead with fluoridating the region's water supply.
The council has fought a long battle against what was originally a Labor State Government's decision to force all local governments in Queensland to add fluoride to their water.
The council argued Bundaberg ratepayers could not afford the estimated $7.8 million for the infrastructure plus the ongoing costs.
This week the council had a win when the State Government legislated in parliament that councils would be given the choice of whether to go ahead or not.
But GP Denise Powell, an advocate of adding fluoride to water, said council should show some leadership on the issue.
"Dental health is an important party of people's wellbeing," she said.
Dentist Hanno Venter, who is about to open his Orange Moose Dental clinic, said fluoride made teeth more resistant to acid or bacterial attack.
It had a strong effect in developing teeth but was also beneficial to developed teeth.
"No matter what age you are it makes your teeth more resistant," he said.
But council water and wastewater spokesman Alan Bush said while they had run their campaign on economic grounds, he was against fluoridating water.
"There's a 50-50 split among doctors and health professionals about fluoridating water," he said.
"When we started out I was neutral.
"I was surprised at the amount of professional people against fluoridation."