Yarra welcomes State Government medically supervised injecting centre trial

Tuesday 31 October 2017

Yarra Council welcomes the decision by the State Government to support a trial of a medically supervised injecting centre (MSIC) in North Richmond.

Mayor Amanda Stone said the council has advocated for more than a decade to consecutive state governments to trial a facility in Yarra.

“We have been calling for the trial of a MSIC in the North Richmond area for many years. Our support for a trial is founded on evidence-based research and a community that has been calling for action. “We believe today's announcement has been strongly influenced by our consistent and strong advocacy in representing the views of our community.

“A harm minimisation approach is widely accepted as best practice in reducing the harms and incidence of illicit drug use. Our priority has always been to improve the health of injecting drug users and reduce the impacts of drug use in surrounding residential streets and businesses.

“This centre will help stop needless deaths and connect drug users to health services, including offering a path out of drug dependence. It will also reduce the number of used syringes being discarded in local streets.

“We have had in-depth conversations with Richmond and Abbotsford residents, Victoria Street businesses, the local school communities and visitors to the area, and there has been overwhelming support for an MSIC.

“On a daily basis, residents have to call ambulances for people who have overdosed in laneways. They are dealing with syringes in their front gardens and in their local streets. The community is seriously concerned about the welfare of drug users and the impact the drug crisis is having on their neighbourhoods.

“Whilst welcomed and much needed, the trial will have a big impact on our local community and we need the State Government to work with Council to manage these impacts over the next two years. There has been overwhelming local support, but Council and residents need to be involved in the planning and implementation of the centre,’’ said Cr Amanda Stone

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