Two weeks ago I was invited to walk around Richmond with several residents to look at the problems they have because of street heroin use. The residents were clear about their support for a supervised injecting room and could not understand why the government and especially their local member, the Honourable Richard Wynne in the Legislative Assembly, were not prepared to support their call for a supervised injecting room. They were also clear that they would turn the government’s refusal to even look at a trial of a supervised injecting room into an election campaign issue in 2018, and of course the Greens will be there supporting them and campaigning with them.
The visit reminded me of what it was like for me in Footscray 20 years ago, when heroin street dealing and use were at their worst. I lived next to the Footscray railway station, and people would buy their heroin at the station and inject in my street — often on my front verandah. I got involved in this issue because I did not want to come home and find someone dead in my front yard. I urge the government, and especially Mr Wynne, to step up, support the residents of Richmond, stop the terrible, unnecessary deaths of heroin users and agree to a supervised injecting room in Richmond.