Pubdate: Sat, 24 Jun 2000
Source: Age, The (Australia)
Copyright: 2000 David Syme & Co Ltd
Contact:  250 Spencer Street, Melbourne, 3000, Australia
Author: Meaghan Shaw
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The debate on supervised injecting facilities was similar to the one on 
needle exchanges more than a decade ago, Health Minister John Thwaites said 
yesterday when announcing a boost to the state's needle exchange programs.

Mr Thwaites said an extra $3.5 million over three years would be allocated 
to needle and syringe programs to help stop the spread of blood-borne 
diseases. "There's been a lot of political debate on the injecting 
facilities," he said.

"We shouldn't forget that when needle exchange programs were set up, the 
same debate was had. And there was huge opposition.

"And I must say that some of the very same opponents of injecting 
facilities are the same people who opposed needle exchanges."

Mr Thwaites announced nearly $1 million would be spent over the next three 
years to buy extra needles and equipment to meet increased demand across 
Victoria's 210 registered needle and syringe programs.

The Whitehorse Community Health Service in Box Hill will receive $200,000 a 
year and Barwon Health's Geelong campus will receive $100,000 a year to 
operate new programs. Services in Collingwood, Melbourne, Footscray, 
Dandenong, Fitzroy, Richmond, Kensington and Preston also received extra 
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