MOVE THE INJECTING ROOM!
MOVE THE INJECTING ROOM!
The location of the injecting room at North Richmond Community Health Centre (NRCH) is right next to a primary school, in the middle of a high density residential area of Melbourne. It is surrounded by playgrounds and multiple childcare facilities a short distance away. This completely defies common sense, and goes against expert recommendations including David Penington, "..we identify appropriate sites which should not be in public areas, not in residential areas of primary residential nature, they should not be in main trading thoroughfares, not near schools, kindergartens and so on."
Drug users deserve the privacy and purpose that would be afforded them in a facility designed for their round the clock needs. There is no reason why it needs to be located at NRCH. There have been no studies produced to say what other sites were considered, or what analyses were done? Why not? Where is the missing evidence to support the choice of location? Where is the risk analysis in relation to children living nearby?
Drug addiction is a 24/7 problem that is a satellite for a broad range of illegal activity. As such, careful consideration should have been given to the planning constraints. In NSW, the legislation specifically restricts placement of an injecting room near schools, childcare and community centers. Surely all Victorians deserve the same protection?
Over the course of the trial, there is mounting evidence to suggest that the compromised location of the room is reducing its efficacy. The honey pot effect has drawn many users from afar, but a lot choose to inject without supervision in the nearby carpark and laneways. Sadly, ambulances continue to attend overdoses on a regular basis.
The Community Health Centre was created to serve the local community; with a maternal/child health section, dental clinic, and many other programs for the elderly. These services are currently being compromised by the imposition of the injecting facility. How many parents would want to take their child to get immunised at a place where drug users loiter under the influence of ice and heroin?
We support enhancing the outcomes for those suffering addiction, but it should not be at the expense of children and local residents. Since it opened there have been a constant stream of serious incidents, especially in relation to ice users.
Join us in calling for the government to relocate the facility, so that it can better assist drug users, without negatively impacting vulnerable segments of the community.
Your support for this petition is greatly appreciated.