Media Release

For release: Friday May 27, 2011

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today urged the Victorian Government to stand firm against a renewed push for a ‘safe’ injecting room in Melbourne.

ACL Victoria Director Rob Ward said, “despite reports in The Age today by Dr Marianne Jauncey that when it comes to injecting rooms “the evidence is clear and irrefutable for their benefits”, the truth is that the evidence is actually to the contrary.

“Dr Jauncey points to the Sydney facility as saving lives, yet its own report indicates that for every user injecting in the “safe” rooms they inject elsewhere a further 34 times.

“If every injection is dangerous what protection is really being offered?

“The Sydney facility is estimated to cost $2.5m a year to run. That money could be better spent on programs to get addicts off drugs, not prolong their addiction.

“Evidence from Sydney reveals that other drugs are injected at the facility, including the dangerous drugs ‘ice’ and cocaine.”

Mr Ward said that there was little evidence that drug users had been effectively referred to programs that helped them end their addiction.

“The message that injecting rooms send is that injecting is ok and can be safe. This is not a message we should be sending out. Drug users often become slaves to their addiction. Injecting rooms only legitimise that slavery.”