No government support for Richmond drug injection room despite community backing – 7th Feb – The Age

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A legalised drug injecting room in Richmond is unlikely to get the backing of the Andrews government, despite strong support for it within cabinet.

Coroner Jacqui Hawkins is expected to soon publish her findings into the death of a 34-year-old mother in north Richmond.

The coroner is expected to recommend a supervised drug-consumption room.

Ahead of the report’s release, a group of community and medical groups have backed Sex Party upper house MP Fiona Patten’s push for a drug room in Richmond, where 34 people died last year of overdoses.

Ms Patten will introduce a bill for an 18-month trial, modelled on Sydney’s supervised injecting room in Kings Cross.

Between 2009 and 2015, there were 96 deaths from illicit drugs in Yarra Council’s areas – most of them in and around Richmond.
Despite the push from minor parties and some within the Andrews government, Police Minister Lisa Neville on Tuesday morning rejected the idea, saying she supported other harm minimisation approaches, not a supervised injecting room.

Premier Daniel Andrews also slapped down the proposal. He said there were other harm minimisation options but declined to provide details.

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