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Sydney Local Health District (SLHD) oversaw the installation of an Automatic Dispensing Machine (ADM) in front of the Redfern Health Centre in February 2013. Kate Reakes, Manager of the Harm Minimisation Program for the Sydney Area Health District provided the following update on the project to REDWatch Spokesperson, Geoff Turnbull.
It is understandable the installation of an Automatic Syringe Dispensing Machine (ASDM) outside the Redfern Community Health Centre has raised community concerns and questions. The issues around illicit drug use are broad and complex, and have been the focus of tensions for many years around the Needle Bus on The Block. Sydney Local Health District (SLHD) has a responsibility to engage the community and to help facilitate community dialogue and understanding, not just to ensure harm minimisation.
The following statement was released by Dr Teresa Anderson, Chief Executive of Sydney Local Health District (SLHD), on 5 February 2013 to the South Sydney Herald (SSH). SSH requested a statement when the Automatic Syringe Dispensing Machine was installed as this had not been “disclosed at last week’s meeting”.
Sydney Local Health District (SLHD) pushed ahead with the installation of the Automatic Dispensing Machine (ADM) in front of the Redfern Health Centre without mentioning it at a public meeting on January 29. In contrast to the December meeting where locals opposing the installation primarily argued their objections with representatives of SLHD, this meeting was independently facilitated and featured a more balanced discussion about the issues with many supporters of the ADM in attendance.