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Victorian Nationals

Emma Kealy – Lay’s Report on CBD injecting room must be released

Tuesday 9 April 2024


The Allan Labor Government must today release in full Ken Lay’s report into a second injecting room in Melbourne’s CBD.


A news report last night revealed Ken Lay has backed a second injecting room in one of three CBD zones.


The time for stalling and excuses is over, with key detail now in the public domain.


Labor received the Lay Report on June 1 last year – more than 10 months ago.


Lay’s report was commissioned soon after Premier Daniel Andrews scrapped his commitment to establish an injecting near Queen Victoria Market following trader and Melbourne City Council outrage, just days after the Premier made the announcement.


The report was originally due at the end of 2020, yet residents and businesses near the proposed sites remain in the dark.


Over the past four years Labor have committed – and then backflipped – to build an injecting room at the Queen Victoria Markets, spent over $40m on the former Yooralla building near Degraves Street which still remains vacant, and has even suggested an injecting room near the top end of Bourke Street.


Labor has since backed away from all three sites following condemnation by Melbourne City Council, CBD residents and businesses.


An Injecting room is a shopfront for drug users to access wrap around health and support services.


Sadly, this issue impacts some of the most vulnerable Victorians. The debate is currently around the location of bricks and mortar; however, the discussion also needs to be about the availability of support when drug users turn to access support.


“Labor is proposing to provide support services for drug users at the injecting rooms, however, Victoria has a severe shortage of rehabilitation beds and support workers to care for some of our most vulnerable Victorians.”


The most recent waitlist data shows over 3,300 Victorians are waiting for drug and alcohol treatment.


“This is up 40% since 2020. There’s simply nowhere for an injecting room to refer people to drug treatment, or will other Victorians be forced to wait longer?”


“The Allan Labor Government can’t manage money, can’t manage projects and vulnerable Victorians are paying the price.”

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