30th April 2023

It is now inevitable that the argument from the illicit drug apologists will gain sway; you could soon have your own local injecting den with all the outfall the residents of North Richmond have and continue to endure in your neighbourhood.

The Drug problem escalates exponentially because no action is being taken to address it, only to facilitate its growth. More injecting rooms increase drug use leading to more overdoses and more crime to support the habits created, not less.

We believe that due to the latest review of the North Richmond facility, some startling numbers were released that can be used in a spurious argument to expand the project.

And as though the on-ground reality has no bearing on the philosophical and political intent to expand injecting rooms, for the convenience of addicts and users at the expense of the community.

The most generous thing that can be said of the Richmond facility review is that there is no evidence that addicts and users are treated or are released from their addiction at all, and the report even admits that the sixty-odd alleged addicts whose lives were saved because of the room is at best an inflated estimate. They just don’t know the effectiveness.

However, what is not beyond doubt is the facility promotes and facilitates drug use and, moreover, provides a convenient location for dealers to operate.

The City of Yarra has been collecting discarded syringes around the neighbourhood adjacent to the Drug facility. Before the Pandemic, they collected 8,000 per month or 260 per day.

After the Pandemic, that number has skyrocketed to 18,000 a month or 600 daily. This is unequivocal evidence that supports the Richmond resident’s claims of an explosion of drug use around the facility and absolutely debunks any claim the facility reduces harm by reducing drug use.

These numbers do not include the number of syringes dispensed and used within the facility.

What this figure does, is open the window to the extent of the problem with drug addiction that the community of North Richmond is dealing with.

At least 600 or 25 every hour, 24/7 addicts, are shooting up in their neighbourhood, plus the addicts transiting to shoot in the facility; this is truly a pandemic.

We oppose the concept of a safe Injecting room in absolute terms but accept without question that addiction is a medical issue.

Sourcing illicit drugs by addicts and associated unlawful behaviours is unquestionably a Police matter.

It is irrefutable that addicts cannot maintain a severe addiction without resorting to crime, and one of the most prolific crimes is drug dealing. So why wouldn’t they congregate in Richmond, where there is little risk of being charged with dealing?

The current drug honey pot, courtesy of the Victorian Government, an area where drug dealing can occur with minimal risk of prosecution, is unacceptable.

The safe injecting room is an abject failure for the community of North Richmond and Victoria generally.

Using the syringe statistics has a danger of creating a perceived need to replicate these facilities throughout the country and metropolitan community—a need not for the community but for the addicts.

As we have argued before, the current approach to the drug issue supports the drug industry, contrary to what is claimed. The Marketing model for that industry is well-serviced by Government strategies in support of their trade.

The risk to all Victorians is that the Richmond Model is replicated elsewhere.

That model uses the community health centres as their operational base.

Community Health centres are attractive because of their medical resources beyond the supervision of drug use.

We all must be vigilant against the spread of these insidious drug facilitator programs in lieu of the introduction of a quarantine system for addicts.

You will never get an addict to action rehabilitation when high, as in the injecting rooms.

To be effective, the addict must be sober when help is offered to have any chance of acquiescing.

Hence the value of the CAA Quarantine proposal.