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Moreland Hall Welcomes Yarra City Council's Resolution on Medically Supervised Injecting Centre Attention: open in a new window. PDFPrintE-mail


Melbourne, VIC, 18th May 2011 – UnitingCare Moreland Hall, one of Victoria’s leading alcohol and other drugs agencies, today welcomed Yarra Council’s decision to seek the support of the Baillieu Government in establishing Victoria’s first medically supervised injecting centre (or ‘safe injecting room’).  The 6-1 vote in favour of the resolution at last night’s council meeting was recognised as an indication of the strong support for such an initiative within the local community (http://bit.ly/yarraagearticle, http://bit.ly/yarraheraldsunarticle).

The agency also noted the public support for the resolution by Labor MLA Don Nardella (Member for Melton) on ABC radio this morning and commended his call for the Labor party to reconsider its position on the introduction of such facilities in Victoria.

CEO Laurence Alvis said:

It is tremendously encouraging to see some political courage being shown on this issue.  It appears that there is strong support for the idea within the Richmond community and we encourage the Baillieu government to consult with those directly affected before refusing to consider Yarra Council’s proposal.

Anyone questioning the value of the approach should look at the many evaluations of the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Kings Cross (http://bit.ly/msicevaluationreports).  What they have consistently shown is that the centre brings significant benefits for its clients, their families and the local community. 

I understand that this approach seems counterintuitive to many within the community.  It is not about ‘giving in’ to drug use but providing an additional service to reduce community harms and engage people in treatment programs for their drug dependence.  It is entirely understandable that local traders might be apprehensive about the possible impact of a medically supervised injecting centre might have on their business, but they should look to the steady growth in support for the Kings Cross centre by local business operators over the 10 years of its operation (http://bit.ly/kpmgreport).


ENDS

For further information or comment please contact Laurence Alvis on 9384 8880.

Background about Moreland Hall:  UnitingCare Moreland Hall is an Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) treatment and education agency of the Uniting Church in Australia. Moreland Hall has been operating since 1970 and provides a range of treatment and education services to clients in the North West Metropolitan region of Melbourne. These include counselling and support in the community and at Port Phillip prison, adult and youth home-based and residential withdrawal, education and training, drug diversion programs, supported accommodation and youth and family service.