The Victorian Greens have welcomed today’s announcement that the Victorian Labor Government will make the medically supervised injecting room in North Richmond ongoing.
However, the Greens say it’s disappointing the Government seems to be backing away from evidence-based recommendations that would make the situation in North Richmond better, such as expanding eligibility criteria to move drug-injecting off the street, and establishing more smaller discrete facilities across the state where harm from drug use is happening.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens Richmond MP, Gabrielle de Vietri:
“The Greens welcome today’s announcement that the supervised injecting room in North Richmond will be made ongoing – it saves lives and provides pathways to better health, housing and employment for people who use injecting drugs.
“But we’re disappointed to see that the Labor Government isn't following evidence-based recommendations including expanding the eligibility criteria to reduce the number of injecting drugs being used on the streets, and expanding the number of supervised injecting rooms where they are needed to take the pressure off North Richmond.
“There is currently undue pressure on North Richmond as the only supervised injecting room.
“The Government seems to be backing away from evidence-based harm reduction in places where we are seeing an increase in use, overdoses and deaths – including in Melbourne, Dandenong, St Kilda, and Geelong.
“I welcome the Government’s acknowledgement of the gaps in safety and amenity in North Richmond and look forward to working with them to ensure investment in social connection, community services, support for local businesses, and improvements in safety and amenity.”
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens drug harm reduction spokesperson, Aiv Puglielli MLC:
“If we’re serious about keeping our communities safer we need to follow expert health advice.
“If the experts are calling for more safe injecting facilities in areas across the state where drug use is affecting communities, then the Government should support them, not back away. But they need to come with wrap-around services and support for local communities to ensure these facilities are successful in reducing harm and saving lives.”
“People are using injectable drugs. Leaving people out in the open, without medical supervision, to use these substances will lead to more deaths and will put people and communities in harm’s way.”