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Director of injecting room quits -

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The outgoing director of the heroin injecting room in Sydney's Kings Cross has taken a parting shot
at the State Government. Ingrid Van Beek has quit in protest because she wants the centre to become
a permanent fixture.

TONY JONES: The outgoing Director of the heroin injecting room in Sydney's Kings Cross has taken a
parting shot at the NSW Government. Ingrid van Beek has quit in protest because she wants the
centre to become a permanent fixture. It's still on trial eight years after it opened.

ADRIAN RASCHELLA: Ingrid van Beek is having some downtime in Europe after leaving her post as the
head of Australia's only medically supervised injecting centre. She was fed up with the State
Government funding it on an indefinite trial basis. The Uniting Church operates the injecting room
and says it has proved itself.

REVEREND HARRY HERBERT, UNITING CARE: People feel "Well, we've been trialled, we've been evaluated,
we've been successful, hey, can't we be recognised for what we've done?"

ADRIAN RASCHELLA: The Reverend says the trial nature of its funding mean it's difficult to get
staff and plan for the future. Over eight years the injecting room says it's referred more than
7,000 drug users to health services and of the 2,500 overdoses there, not one was fatal. The Health
Department agrees the centre is a success but says it makes sense to keep funding on a 4 year
cycle.

DAVID MCGRATH, NSW HEALTH: The outcomes have been good and I don't disagree with that, but it's
important to reinforce that in any area of drugs policy the drugs environment changes frequently
and Government needs to be alert to those changes.

ADRIAN RASCHELLA: In a statement, the Health Minister says the Government is "Committed to the
continuation of the trial... We will continue to monitor the outcomes of the unique facility to
ensure it continues to deliver results.

HARRY HERBERT: I think they're too nervous. I'd encourage them to be a bit bolder and to do what
they say they want to do. That is, base policy on the evidence. We've got the evidence, base the
policy on it.

ADRIAN RASCHELLA: The Opposition acknowledges the centre has prevented many deaths.

BARRY O'FARRELL, OPPOSITION LEADER: Where the jury is still out, where the evidence doesn't exist,
is the diversion of heroin addicts into programs designed to get them off heroin altogether. That's
always been my criticism.

ADRIAN RASCHELLA: The Uniting Church believes most Kings Cross locals now support the injecting
room.

Adrian Raschella, Lateline.