Mayor targets methadone clinic

KOGARAH mayor Nickolas Varvaris has called for urgent talks with police and the St George Hospital-run methadone clinic following an increase in antisocial behaviour in the CBD.

Cr Varvaris submitted a mayoral report to the council last week which discussed "an increase in concerns about antisocial behaviour in the Kogarah CBD in recent months".

"Many business owners and residents have been raising their concerns with me regarding this issue and its impact on the Kogarah CBD," he said.

"Businesses are concerned that individuals or groups loitering in the CBD drive away customers and residents report feeling intimidated by antisocial behaviour."

The mayor said there was a perception in the community that antisocial behaviour involved methadone clinic clients, but added it was not "exclusively methadone clinic clients causing current disturbances in the CBD".

Associate Professor Nicholas Lintzeris, Director of Drug and Alcohol Services for the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, said the clinic delivered a range of treatment services for people who lived in St George and Sutherland Shire.

"For some clients, this involves attending the clinic at St George Hospital on a daily basis.

"We recognise that there is always the potential for some individuals to congregate in the local area following their dosing.

"In order to address concerns that may arise from antisocial behaviour in the local community, regular meetings are held with South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, local council and police representatives."

Cr Varvaris suggested later that the clinic, in a nondescript building in South Street, and not inside the public hospital, be "moved to another area".

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