Yarra Council calls for public health approach to illicit drug use in Victoria St
Wednesday 18 May 2016
Yarra Council voted last night (17 May) to endorse a public health approach to manage the long-term illicit drug issues in and around Victoria Street, Richmond and Abbotsford.
The Council resolution calls on the State Government to refer to the North Richmond Public Injecting Impact Study (2013), conducted by the Burnett Institute, Yarra Drug and Health Forum and Yarra City Council, and to consider Council’s new request for a mobile supervised injecting facility in Victoria Street.
Mayor Roberto Colanzi said that the residents and traders of Victoria Street and its immediate surrounds had endured the consequences of illicit drug problems for too many years.
“Personally, I support supervised injecting facilities and the role they play in supervising drug users and saving lives,” said Mayor Colanzi.
“This harm minimisation approach should also provide some deserved relief for the traders, residents and visitors to Victoria Street.”
The resolution followed a submission by a representative of the Victoria Street traders and residents, on three initiatives being sought: a CCTV monitoring program; a feasibility study for a supervised injecting facility; and $100,000 for cleaning up the streetscaping and shopfronts.
Mayor Roberto Colanzi said that he commended the shift that had been made by traders and residents in and around Victoria Street.
“Their frustrations and personal concerns over their own safety must come to an end, and I commend the significant shift they have made.”
Council also appealed again to the State Government to provide detailed information on the CCTV pilot it has offered to fund in Victoria Street.
Council resolution of 17 May 2016
(a) note that on 17 May 2016, The Age newspaper reported that a number of traders in Victoria Street Richmond may be supportive of a feasibility study for the establishment of a mobile supervised injecting facility, and that this support is contingent upon the implementation of CCTV in Victoria Street Richmond;
(b) is committed to a harm minimisation approach for illicit drug use and accepts that supervised injecting facilities are proven to improve client health, public health and ameliorate negative amenity impacts;
(c) refers the State Government to the North Richmond Public Injecting Impact Study (2013) conducted by the Burnett Institute, Yarra Drug and Health Forum and Yarra City Council and its recommendations for the introduction of a supervised injecting facility as a component of a comprehensive harm reduction response and to advance that recommendation;
(d) requests that the State Government provide a formal response to the completed feasibility study on supervised injecting facility as referenced above and the new request for consideration of a mobile supervised injecting facility and take any appropriate action in accordance with the recommendations of the study; and
(e) request that a response to this request and to the request sent on 19 February (for the details of the State Government’s CCTV proposal) be returned to the City of Yarra before the end of June this year with a follow-up report to Council.
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