(Community Recognition Statement, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)
I wish to recognise the vital work of the Kings Cross Medically Supervised Injecting Centre, which has been successfully operating since 2001. The centre is the only registered medically supervised clinic in Australia and provides a safe environment for drug injecting that would otherwise occur in Kings Cross streets and parks.
Experienced and skilled workers help street-based injecting drug users to prevent blood borne viruses and infection, help to sort out health and welfare problems, and link clients to treatment. During the 1999 New South Wales Drug Summit, Kings Cross had the highest concentration of people dying from injecting drug overdoses in the country.
The increasingly strong local resident and business support reflects the lives saved and the injecting and associated paraphernalia removed from the streets. The centre has registered more than 12,600 clients, successfully managed more than 4,400 drug overdoses, made more than 9,500 referrals to drug programs and massively reduced the number of discarded syringes in Kings Cross.
I commend everyone involved in this much-needed service.