Gosnells Markets needle swap service under fire

Gosnells Markets needle swap under fire.
Gosnells Markets needle swap under fire.

THERE is a push to remove needle swap services from the Gosnells Markets that are held on Fridays.

The Gosnells District Progress and Ratepayers Association wants the service moved to the Maddington depot near the City of Gosnells pound.

The WA AIDS Council sets up a Needle and Syringe Exchange (NSEP) every Friday afternoon from 4pm to 6pm behind the markets in the carpark near the railway on Lissiman Street.

The needle and syringe exchange program provides services to people who inject drugs with a safe place to dispose of used injected needles as well as safer sex equipment and free advice.

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The program also runs in other areas around Perth, including Armadale, Fremantle and Joondalup.

Gosnells District Progress and Ratepayers Association president Sandra Baraiolo said needle exchange users were collecting needles and going into nearby toilets or back to their cars and injecting themselves with drugs.

“We do not want to see it closed down, we just want to move it to a less visible location,” she said.

“We have had complaints from ratepayers about it.

“We are asking for it to go to a less public place.”

City of Gosnells chief executive Ian Cowie said the City believed the NSEP was an important public health initiative.

“While the program is run by the WA AIDS Council, the City may have the potential to influence the location from which the service is provided,” he said.

The WA AIDS Council of WA declined to comment.