We’re working to make Victoria Street a safer, more attractive and welcoming place for all.
The Victoria Street Precinct in Richmond and Abbotsford is a vibrant dining, shopping and cultural destination. However, the area also faces challenges in relation to public safety, liveability, community connectedness and economic prosperity, which are often the result of drug-related activity.
On this page you’ll find up to date information about the work that Council and other agencies are doing to improve Victoria Street.
For more detailed information, please refer to the following Council reports:
- Victoria Street Precinct update and place activation opportunities report from 2 October 2018
- Victoria Street Precinct and Reimagining Victoria Street update report from December 2017
Reimagining Victoria Street
In February-March 2017 we undertook a major community consultation called Reimagining Victoria Street. We asked the community to share experiences of living, working and visiting Victoria Street and the surrounding area and ideas for making it a safer, more attractive and welcoming place. We heard from about 400 people, who contributed more than 2300 ideas.
In response to your feedback, we’re working on a number of initiatives as well as advocating to other levels of government to make Victoria Street better for everyone.
Community health, safety and wellbeing
Council works closely with a range of stakeholders to improve community health, safety and wellbeing in our community. A factsheet has been developed for local residents, traders and visitors that outlines who to contact for the following issues:
- Disposal of discarded needle syringes and related litter
- Neglected property, cleaning and maintenance
- Emergency assistance
- Illegal activity and personal safety
- Public injecting and drug affected people
- Alcohol and other drug counselling, advice and referral
Urban design works
We adopted the Victoria Street Streetscape Masterplan in 2015 to guide future streetscape improvements in the Victoria Street precinct.
A key project within the masterplan is the upgrading of the public realm at the intersections of Lennox/Nicholson and Victoria streets in order to improve public safety and make the area a more welcoming place for the community.
Recent upgrades have included changes to the paved area (footpaths and roadway) to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists, improved lighting, new seating, new landscaping, and installation of bicycle hoops. The project was funded by Council and the Victorian Government’s Community Crime Prevention Program.
Shopfront improvement program
In 2018 we are running a pilot program to help business owners improve their shop fronts. We are working closely with a number of traders to help them refurbish their shopfronts and roller doors by providing grants and in-kind support. This has included supporting 10 shops by improving their shopfronts and installing 15 roller shutters with artwork designed by local children to enhance the appearance of Victoria Street.
Parking and traffic
We are working to improve local streets and the safety of pedestrians and cyclists in and around Victoria Street. This process is known as a Local Area Place Making Study (LAPMS).
The LAPM for Abbotsford (in the area bounded by Johnston Street, Hoddle Street, Victoria Street and Yarra River) is currently underway. We have undertaken 2 rounds of community consultation (in November 2017 and February 2018). We received hundreds of ideas and responses from the local community, and are now using this feedback to develop a traffic management plan for the area.
Find out more about the Abbotsford LAPM.
Litter and graffiti
Council undertakes regular street cleaning in and around Victoria Street. The area is checked and cleaned every day by our litter control crews and bins are emptied daily. We are also working with businesses to reduce the number of commercial rubbish bins being left on the street.
Posters and graffiti are cleaned daily from Council assets by our graffiti crews (this does not include shopfronts because they are private property).
Syringe management services
We contract Innerspace (part of cohealth) to pick up syringes from streets, parks and public toilets, and to manage the syringe disposal bins found in Yarra.
They conduct regular sweeps of Victoria Street and the surrounding areas, monitor syringe disposal units, and collect data to inform when and where efforts should be directed.
Find out more about what to do if you find a discarded syringe.
Medically supervised injecting centre
Council has been advocating to the State Government for a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre for a number of years.
In October 2017 the State Government announced that it would implement a two year trial of a MSIC at North Richmond Community Health Centre in North Richmond.
International evidence, as well as findings from the Sydney shows that MSICs are effective in reducing the number of discarded needles, syringes and other drug litter in local streets and laneways. They also reduce the frequency of public witnessing of injecting drug use and overdoses.
For more information, visit the Department of Health and Human Services website or North Richmond Community Health website.
In October 2017 the State Government installed 13 CCTV cameras affixed to 5 poles in and around Victoria Street. These include
- 8 cameras affixed to 3 poles along Lennox Street, located between Victoria Street and Highett Street (east side of Lennox Street and within the boundary of the housing estate); and
- 5 cameras affixed to 2 poles along Victoria Street, one located on the corner of Nicholson Street (on the eastern side) and the other installed opposite Little Lithgow Street (southern side of Victoria Street).