Nee­dle swap un­der fire

Comment News (Gosnells) - - Street Watch -

THERE is a push to re­move nee­dle swap ser­vices from the Gos­nells Mar­kets that are held on Fri­days.

The Gos­nells Dis­trict Progress and Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion wants the ser­vice moved to the Madding­ton de­pot near the City of Gos­nells pound.

The WA AIDS Coun­cil sets up a Nee­dle and Syringe Ex­change (NSEP) ev­ery Fri­day af­ter­noon from 4pm to 6pm be­hind the mar­kets in the carpark near the rail­way on Lis­si­man Street.

The nee­dle and syringe ex­change pro­gram pro­vides ser­vices to peo­ple who in­ject drugs with a safe place to dis­pose of used in­jected nee­dles as well as safer sex equip­ment and free ad­vice.

The pro­gram also runs in other ar­eas around Perth, in­clud­ing Ar­madale, Fre­man­tle and Joon­dalup.

Gos­nells Dis­trict Progress and Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent San­dra Baraiolo said nee­dle ex­change users were col­lect­ing nee­dles and go­ing into nearby toi­lets or back to their cars and in­ject­ing them­selves with drugs.

“We do not want to see it closed down, we just want to move it to a less vis­i­ble lo­ca­tion,” she said.

“We have had com­plaints from ratepay­ers about it.

“We are ask­ing for it to go to a less pub­lic place.”

City of Gos­nells chief ex­ec­u­tive Ian Cowie said the City be­lieved the NSEP was an im­por­tant pub­lic health ini­tia­tive.

“While the pro­gram is run by the WA AIDS Coun­cil, the City may have the po­ten­tial to in­flu­ence the lo­ca­tion from which the ser­vice is pro­vided,” he said.

The WA AIDS Coun­cil of WA de­clined to com­ment.

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