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Residents seek consultation to ensure harm minimisation works

Following the response from the Aboriginal Medical Service and growing concern in the community about the location in Lawson Street Redfern, REDWatch issued the following Media Release.

REDWatch Media Statement

Residents seek consultation to ensure harm minimisation works

Today Geoff Turnbull, spokesperson for the Redfern residents group REDWatch, called on the state government to begin consultations over its plans to open a primary health centre on Lawson Street Redfern.

"REDWatch welcomes the state government’s plans to increase resources for health care, particularly in relation to drug issues, in Redfern. We recognise that drug use is a reality in Redfern, and that a range of strategies need to be used to address the issue, including providing users with clean equipment, counselling and support. We believe that harm minimisation approaches will improve outcomes, not only for drug users, but also for residents.

"It is important that this new centre works in conjunction with existing services, such as those provided by the Aboriginal Medical Service in Redfern. Concerns expressed by the AMS about a lack of consultation are disturbing. For this new centre to be effective the government must bring existing providers, users and residents along with it, rather than simply impose solutions.

"We are calling on the government to enter into consultations with the AMS, other service providers, service users and local residents. It may be that local knowledge can improve the existing plan, ensure better coordination and avoid duplication. While we support the government's initiative, we believe it is vital that the details of the plan be subject to community input, and allow all those effected to have their say."

Further Information Contact:
Geoff Turnbull 02 9318 0824                    Email: turnbullfamily@stassen.com.au
Ben Spies-Butcher 0414 744 758

C/- PO Box 1567
Strawberry Hills NSW 2012
Ph Wk: 9318 0824