Richmond’s Drug Injecting Room To Stay Near Local School
Becoming a permanent fixture
North Richmond Community Health
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrew has announced the controversial medically supervised injection room in North Richmond to become permanent after the state parliament pushed through new legislation.
The medically supervised injection facility is located near Richmond West Primary School. It first opened in 2018 for a trial period before its extension in 2021.
Despite the facility being highly contentious, an independent review led by public health researcher John Ryan found it safely managed nearly 6,000 overdoses and saved 63 lives.
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According to the Australian Associated Press, a bill to make the facility permanent passed the upper house 22 votes to 14 following a seven-hour-marathon debate on Thursday night.
“This is not a straightforward proposition,” Labor Minister Harriet Shing told the chamber.
“But for that service, we would be in a situation where that part of Melbourne would be riven with an ever-growing volume of drug-related activity, the type of which has caused so much concern for so many people speaking in the chamber this evening.
“Bedding this facility down into a permanent operation will enable more lives to be saved.”
The Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Amendment (Medically Supervised Injecting Centre) Bill 2023 will be sent to the governor for royal assent.
Amendments to the legislation from the Greens, coalition, Legalise Cannabis, and the Liberal Democrats were all defeated.
The Greens were pushing for pregnant women and people under 18 to be able to use the centre in line with an independent review recommendation that the government rejected.
Research by Deakin University has revealed that the supervised injecting room has wiped almost $60,000 off the value of houses within walking distance of the facility.
The research focused on more than 9,000 houses and apartment sales within a two-kilometre range around the facility between 2016 to 2021.
The finding has shown that houses within 80 metres of the supervised injection room have had an average price reduction of six per cent since its first opening in 2018.
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