NSW Government to be applauded on drug reforms

The Uniting Church and its service arm Uniting, which runs the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre at King Cross, has welcomed news that the NSW Government will move to change the law regarding small quantities of drugs and instead introduce a three strike warning system.

The church has long-campaigned for such a move, arguing the law should be changed so that drug use is treated as a health and social issue.

“These sensible measures are the sign of a Government that is listening to the medical and legal experts and making laws based on the evidence. Too many people who use drugs are made to live in the shadows, looked down upon with shame and stigma and therefore don’t seek help because of our current drug laws,” the Moderator of the Uniting Church (NSW and ACT), Rev. Simon Hansford said.

“We welcome this move by the NSW government, which will allow police resources to be diverted to the large drug traffickers, where we all want their attention to be, with the helping hand of treatment and support extended to those with drug dependency.

“We all want a society in which all people are valued and their dignity as human beings recognised. Parents want to know that their kids will come home from a night out and if they have drug dependency society will help keep them safe until they can get treatment. This move by the NSW government is to be applauded.”

The church has this week released a paper looking at models of decriminalisation and examining the most effective approach for the State.

The church has spearheaded the Fair Treatment campaign, which is supported by over 60 organisations representing legal, medical, health, community and church groups.

For more information, please contact: Martin Thomas, martin@martinwthomasconsulting.com or media@nswact.uca.org.au

About the Uniting Church Synod of NSW and ACT 

The Uniting Church is one of the largest Christian denominations in Australia. Our Congregations and members are diverse in age, location and culture. The Synod of NSW and the ACT supports more than 500 Congregations, 50,000 members, 13 Presbyteries and nine schools and Parish Missions. We are connected by a single story, worshipping every week in more than 40 languages.

About Uniting | uniting.org 

Uniting is responsible for the social justice, community services and chaplaincy work of the Uniting Church in NSW and the ACT, providing care and support for people through all ages and stages of life and with a focus on people experiencing disadvantage and vulnerability. Our purpose is to inspire people, enliven communities and confront injustice. We celebrate diversity and welcome everyone exactly as they are.