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Despite concern from locals, 180 Victoria Street, Potts Point is now home to a new health service. This follows a unanimous decision
made by City of Sydney Council on Monday night, to approve the development application, subject to a 12 month trial.

The service will be managed by the Kirketon Road Centre, which has been responsible for prevention, treatment and care of HIV/AIDS since its establishment in 1987.

The heritage-listed terrace will provide services including STD testing and treatment, HIV and hepatitis testing and vaccination, crisis counselling, drug and alcohol assessment and women’s health checks including pap smears and family planning
advice.

It will also provide access to safe sterile injecting equipment, however it will not be an injecting centre.

Jo Holder, convenor of Darlinghurst residents action group, is in strong support of the centre.

“It’s a world renowned facility that has negligible impacts on the surroundings” she said.

“It’s something that we should all be proud of as it leads the world in terms of its practice”.

Some locals are still concerned about the centre threatening the ambience of their community.

A cause for concern is the possibility of sterile injecting equipment increasing public drug usage in a residential area.
The possibility the area will once again resemble its 1980’s hay day, when public drug usage was flourishing, has also been cause for resistance among some.

Out of 194 submissions made about the development application, 153 objected.

“This is not a win for residents. It creates uncertainty,” said president of the Potts Point and Kings Cross heritage
conservation society, Andrew Woodhouse.

“We have written to Clover Moore as MP asking her intervene but expect no solution as she clearly has an
inherent conflict of interests.”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore has openly voiced her support for the health service, and of the type of work previously done by the Kirketon Road Centre.

The health service will operate Monday to Sunday, from the hours of 1:30pm to 10.00pm and Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 6.00pm, on drop in and appointment basis.

By Georgia Fullerton