Shouts NSW and National Drug User Organisations
The NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA) and the Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL) – the state and national peak organisations representing people who use and inject drugs welcome the announcement today of the removal of the trial status for the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre.
This landmark decision shows great courage by the NSW Government in supporting the health and human rights of people who inject in Sydney. The enormous contribution that has been made by the MSIC in preventing blood borne virus transmission and saving lives is substantial. Ms. Chris Huber NUAA’s President stated, “It’s a relief for our community to know the Centre which some of us have come to rely on will be there every day. We are happy the trial status has been lifted and a valuable and life saving service for our community will continue”.
Ms Huber added, “When we think back to 2001, the establishment of the service and the journey it has taken, I am just thrilled to see that evidence has won the day and that the unquestionable success of the service has prevailed over some community sentiment. The Centre has been taken into the hearts of some of the most vulnerable and marginalised people in our society who rely on the centre”.
It is important to recognise that people who use and inject drugs are too often marginalised and excluded from services. The announcement today has shown that the NSW Government values the lives of everyone who lives here in NSW. Annie Madden, Executive Officer, AIVL added, “ I am delighted with this outcome, I was part of the Drug Summit process and today’s announcement speaks loud and clear – that people who inject are human beings who have the right to access life saving services. We know the stats, we know the evidence. The MSIC works and today – we have a mandate to ensure that it continues to do what it does best – saves lives”.
Both NUAA and AIVL have participated in productive partnerships and collaborations with the MSIC and look forward to the future. In finishing, Ms Huber said, “Partnership has been a cornerstone of the success of the MSIC, bringing together all of the stakeholders including NUAA has meant that we have been able to work together to support this important service. Our commitment to this partnership continues and we look forward to building on the MSIC success to date and ensuring that the service continues to meet the needs of our community.