NSW increasingly isolated when it comes to harm minimisation  

Now that Victoria is moving into position alongside the Australian Capital Territory and Queensland by setting up and promising to establish drug checking services for its citizens – the NSW Government looks increasingly isolated when it comes to practical drug policies and harm minimisation. 

Emma Maiden, Uniting NSW.ACT’s General Manager of Advocacy & External Relations, said: “Giving people more information about the drugs they are planning to take can only be a good thing. 

“Uniting NSW.ACT welcomes the actions being put into place by other state and territory governments that will make their communities safer – this includes the ACT Government’s decision to use its Budget to fund its drug-checking service for another three years; the Victorian Government’s plans to have a pill testing trial in place before the summer festival season; and Queensland’s commitment to support drug checking on an ongoing basis.  

“All commonsense decisions, all made without the need for a Drug Summit.  

“The NSW Government has promised to hold a Drug Summit yet that should not be a barrier to implementing life-saving measures like drug checking now. 

“The Minns Government in NSW is looking increasingly isolated in terms of the sensible, simple policy measures that are being implemented and rolled out in a range of other state and territories. NSW was once a leader nationally in harm reduction. 

“Uniting NSW.ACT in partnership with The Loop Australia and the University of NSW are currently completing our own drug-checking research project, at Uniting’s MSIC (Medically Supervised Injecting Centre) in Kings Cross. 

This time-limited drug-checking research project at Uniting’s Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) in Kings Cross, for registered MSIC clients, got underway in April. 

A specialist drug and alcohol clinician and analytical chemist from The Loop Australia is currently attending MSIC once a week to allow those intending to use drugs, who wish to have them tested, to do so – and then give them access to analysis results alongside targeted harm reduction advice. 

“Drug checking reduces harm, saves lives, and mitigates the strain on our health system, which saves us money. 

“We need to get on with implementing drug checking as well as this long-promised 5 Day Parliamentary Drug Summit here in NSW – so we can start stopping entirely preventable deaths,” Emma said. 

Media contact: 

Andrew Bradley  
Ph: 0481 064 379 

E-mail: abradley@uniting.org