A Medically Supervised Injection Centre (MSIC) for the Victoria Street Precinct
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This petition calls for the establishment of a Medically Supervised Injection Centre (MSIC) in the Victoria Street Precinct, similar to the centre established in Kings Cross in 2001.
Victoria Street, in North Richmond and Abbotsford, has become Melbourne’s epicentre for heroin and ice dealing and use. Every day the local community, traders and many visitors to this vibrant restaurant and shopping strip witness drug deals, public drug taking and unsociable behaviour.
The current 'do nothing' approach is having increasingly detrimental impacts on both users and the community:
- Approximately two users die each month in the Victoria St precinct and an average of nine overdoses requiring ambulance callouts occur each day;
- In 2015 alone, over 60,000 syringes were collected across Yarra as a result of public injecting – a 30% increase on 2014 (Yarra City Council minutes – 23 August 2016); and
- Local residents and their families regularly witness people injecting in residential streets, on the curb, between cars and behind bins. Residents are often the first responders when users overdose, calling 000 and remaining with them until the ambulance arrives.
Residents for Victoria Street Drug Solutions is a group of Yarra residents from Victoria Street and the surrounding streets directly and personally affected by the high levels of public drug taking and illicit drug dealing within the precinct, who are advocating for a fixed position, Medically Supervised Injection Centre (MSIC) to be trialled within the Victoria Street precinct to address the high levels of public drug taking, dealing and the associated crime and risk to public health and safety.
The MSIC model introduced in Kings Cross in 2001 has successfully dealt with the same issues we are facing in Victoria Street today.
There has not been one fatal overdose in Kings Cross since its inception and public drug taking has all but disappeared. Users have access to sterile syringes, proper disposal, medical and psychological services and practical support within the centre.
Its operation is funded entirely by the Confiscated Proceeds of Crime Account, managed by the New South Wales Treasury.
We urge you to sign the petition to support a solution to the drug problem on Victoria Street that provides beneficial outcomes for users, traders and the local community.
Supporters of this petition request that the State Government, together with Yarra Council, the Police and Health Department policy makers:
- Examine the Kings Cross model and develop a plan for MSIC in the Victoria Street precinct;
- Facilitate the required legislation to provide for establishing a medially supervised injecting centre in Victoria Street precinct; and
- Provide the required funding and resources for the MSIC centre.
Please contact Residents for Victoria Street Drug Solutions for more information.
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