An influential Melbourne Health Forum is lobbying the state government to try out syringe vending machines in high-drug use areas.
The Yarra Drug and Health Forum said the trial could mimic the new state Syringe Vending Machine Project, which is now 10 years old.
The Forum met with the representative of the Department of Human Services, who, according to the minutes of their meeting on July, thought they were \"very receptive\" to the proposal.
Maribyrnong and Port expressed interest in attending the trial.
The two cities, as well as Melbourne, Yarra and Greater Dandenong, were identified as high
Level of drug activity at the State Drug Policy Committee. The forum -
A network of health and welfare agencies, police, government departments, residents and businessmen --
Machines that hope to subsidize are located in drug hotspots and provide 24-
It takes an hour to use the syringe.
The proposal could trigger a heated debate about where machines should be placed and whether they would encourage drug use.
In 2001, when the City Council lobbied, taxpayers rejected a similar proposal.
A government spokesman said the Department of Human Services had no plans to recommend a trial to Health Minister Bronwin Pike.
Spokesman Bram Alexander said the department representative did not attend any meeting of the Forum.
However, he said that the department has collected information about syringe vending machines in the past few years in order to get an update on health protection measures.
The forum provided the department with an assessment of the new state Syringe Vending Machine Project to support its proposal.
After a trial in 1993, about 80 syringe vending machines are now operating in metropolitan and rural areas of new state.
The most recent one was set up in Queanbeyan.
These machines are usually self-sold cigarette machines after transformation, located outside the hospital or community health center.
They distributed fitpack containing five to ten needles, cotton swabs
and water, as well as advice on safe injections.
The cost of $1 to $3 per Fitpack is subsidized by the government.
Joslyn Snow, executive officer of the Forum, said she did not want to advance
Block the minister\'s position on the proposal, but if a trial is approved, vending machines should be installed in five drug hotspots and regions in the city --
It could be Giron, Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton or mowill.
Snow MS said it was hoped that the introduction of syringe vending machines would help curb the practice of sharing needles, thus curbing the spread of HIV and hepatitis C.
According to data from the Australian National Commission for AIDS, hepatitis C and related diseases, of the 16,000 newly infected cases of hepatitis C reported in 2001, they were infected by intravenous drug use.
MS Snow said the syringe vending machine will serve drug addicts who are unwilling to use the needle exchange program for fear of being identified.
Port Phillip Mayor Liz Johnston said that while access to drug services is an important issue, especially for the streets --
She has reservations about introducing a syringe vending machine.
If the government approves the trial, the Commission will act cautiously on the issue, Johnston said. MS.
A spokesman for the City of Maribyrnong said that before taking a formal position on the introduction of syringe vending machines, the council would wait to see an assessment of the new state trial.