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Fluoride survey results released

29 January 2018Link to Social Research Centre report.

Bega Valley Shire Council has today (Monday) released the results of a community survey into whether the addition of fluoride to the drinking water supply was supported by the public.

The telephone survey, funded by NSW Health, was conducted by the Social Research Centre (SRC), a business unit of the Australian National University, and centred on a single question aimed a deriving a measure of community sentiment into the matter.

Other demographic information, including primary sources of drinking water, was also collected during the survey.

The survey followed a Council resolution of 1 November 2017 stating in part that “Council staff approach NSW Health to fund the engagement of a suitably qualified research and survey company to undertake a statistically representative community survey to determine a valid community view on whether or not fluoride is supported for the Bega Valley.”

The primary question was: “Do you agree with adding fluoride to the public drinking supply to try to prevent tooth decay?”

Some of the key survey results are:

  • More than half of the residents surveyed rely on the public water supply as their normal source of drinking water (57.5%). The second most common source was rainwater (24.6%).
  • In response to the survey question, 66.2% responded ‘yes’, 28.4% responded ‘no’, 5.2% were unsure and only 0.2% preferred not to respond.
  • Respondents who reported their main source of normal drinking water to be the public supply were significantly more likely to be in agreement with the suggestion of adding fluoride to the public drinking water supply (77.1%), in comparison with respondents who have another normal source of drinking water - such as bottled water, a combination of different sources or something else (51.5%).

The results of the survey will be the subject of a report to the 21 February 2018 Council meeting.

For more information contact Council on (02) 6499 2222.


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