The 4350water Blog highlights some of the issues relating to proposals for potable reuse in Toowoomba and South East Qld. 4350water blog looks at related political issues as well.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Anna Bligh forced into fluoride overdose fiasco apology #27 ...

Courier Mail:

Fluoride water apology by Premier Anna Bligh

22 May 2009

Anna Bligh's fluoride fiasco has descended into farce, with the Premier admitting everything the public had been told about the recent overdose was wrong.

Ms Bligh was last night forced to repeatedly apologise as she provided a third version of events surrounding the overdose of Brisbane water supplies three weeks ago.

An interim investigation has found the Premier gave the public the wrong date for the error, the incorrect areas affected and a vastly different fluoride level in the water.

The embarrassing bungle comes after a damaging week for the controversial fluoride policy, including delays in discovering the overdose, confusion over its date and persistent underdosing of supplies outside regulations.

Ms Bligh last night insisted the new information was the conclusive and definitive version of events, despite a final independent report still not being due for more than a month.

"I apologise to those people who may have been unduly concerned by the original advice about the effects on their water supply," she said. "I apologise for unnecessary concern that has been caused by the lack of clarity."

The new advice by independent expert Mark Pascoe shows the overdosed water flowed in a different direction from the North Pine Water Treatment Plant than initially thought.

The Government had originally sparked health fears among 4000 households in the Brendale and Warner areas in the Pine Rivers area.

But the new advice identifies only a nearby YMCA camp occupied by 211 children, four houses on the plant site and possibly about 400 homes at Joyner.

Ms Bligh initially said the water contained 31mg/L of fluoride – the maximum is 1.5mg/L – but the new details have put the level of the chemical at 19.6mg/L.

The Government had originally put the time of the overdose between 9am and noon on May 1 but then informed residents that it had been May 2.

However, the new advice has now placed the time of the overdose between 8am and 9am on April 30.

Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek last night said the Government could not be trusted with water, including recycle supplies, after a takeover from councils last year. "What we have is a shambles," Mr Langbroek said.

"Anything they touch with water turns into a mess. Someone has to take responsibility for this mess."

SEQ Water will be forced to again letterbox drop current and previously affected households with new details.

Mr Pascoe told the Premier about the new circumstances on Tuesday but she wanted the advice to be correct and waited until late yesterday.

The final report of the incident is expected on June 26.

See - Courier Mail - Fluoride water apology by Premier Anna Bligh.

That's Anna's story today anyway - stay tuned for tomorrow's story - 90 households and 150 girl guides at 400mg/l ...


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