Yarra Council today welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement of additional support for the Medically Supervised Injecting Facility being trialled in Richmond.
Yarra Mayor, Cr Danae Bosler said, “We remain strong supporters of this trial, and we welcome the additional resources from the Victorian Government. The announcement of extra security and social outreach services shows that our residents’ concerns are being listened to and acted upon.”
“It’s important to remember that this trial is about saving lives. We have already seen lots of positive signs, including the safe management of more than 650 overdoses. If these incidents had taken place on the streets, they could well have ended in tragedy. We’re also very encouraged by the hundreds of clients asking for advice on testing and treatment options,” Cr Bosler said.
“We know there is more to be done to take public injecting off the streets and to reduce the number of discarded syringes in public places. And the additional resources announced on Saturday by the Victorian Government are a big step in the right direction.”
“Last week Yarra Council announced plans to increase cleaning activities in area surrounding the facility. And we’re exploring the potential for a $300,000 boost to our cleaning efforts with additional equipment in the new financial year. We’ll be working closely with our partners to respond to community concerns and give this important trial the best chance of success,” Cr Bosler said.
Yarra Council is part of new working group set up to share learnings about the trial and to provide a coordinated response to community concerns. The working group also includes representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria Police, North Richmond Community Health and other support agencies.
The Richmond location was chosen for the facility because drugs of dependence were already being bought and publically injected in the surrounding area. Prior to the centre opening, a number of people lost their lives to overdoses in public spaces.