Grieving parents push for Melbourne CBD’s safe injecting roomPosted by On

A report by former police commissioner Ken Lay was delayed by COVID-19 and is now not due until the middle of the year, prompting speculation the government has lost its appetite for pursuing a second facility.

Premier Daniel Andrews last week said the pandemic changed drug use patterns and who visited the city.

“Therefore, choosing a site that is appropriate, or indeed, choosing whether there will be a site, all of that is on the table,” Andrews said.

Fatal heroin-related overdoses dropped across Victoria in 2021, including in the City of Melbourne. But ambulance callouts in the council area increased to 390 in 2021-22, and overtook the City of Yarra for the first time on record.

Statewide heroin-related deaths were also on the rise in the last two quarters. However, the Coroners Court of Victoria noted last month the rise could just be a natural fluctuation or a temporary “spike” and not necessarily an emerging trend.

Danial Korver, and a note from his parents at the site of his overdose on Rainbow Alley.

Danial Korver, and a note from his parents at the site of his overdose on Rainbow Alley.Credit:Rachel Eddie

Opposition mental health spokeswoman Emma Kealy said the government failed to consider other options such as offering hydromorphone, an opioid replacement therapy, to get users off heroin while waiting for the overdue report.

“Everybody wants to see a copy of this report to understand what the government’s plans are for how we address drug use in the city,” Kealy said.

She said the North Richmond facility had enormous impacts on the community

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