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In an article published in The Guardian, Penington Institute CEO John Ryan responds to the Victorian Government’s decision not to proceed with a proposed safe injecting room in Melbourne’s CBD.

The article, written by Victorian state correspondent Benita Kolovos, follows the State Government’s announcement on Tuesday that the trial facility would not go ahead – a decision that addiction experts warn could ‘cost lives.’

Former Victorian police commissioner Ken Lay recommended the small and discrete facility in a 2020 report, which the government received last May. It would be the second safe injecting facility in Melbourne, complementing the existing room in North Richmond.

However, the government concluded that there was no suitable location for the facility that would balance the needs of the broader community.

Experts call for stronger action on overdose

Penington Institute CEO John Ryan is one of several experts quoted by The Guardian expressing disappointment and concern at the Victorian Government’s decision.

Mr Ryan previously chaired a panel overseeing Melbourne’s existing North Richmond safe injecting room, which first recommended a CBD facility in 2020.

“The evidence tells us that we can cut the number of overdoses and deaths when people have access to a medically supervised injecting site,” he says.

“Overdose is a leading cause of death in Australia – it’s higher than the road toll – but there are ways to prevent overdoses and prevent deaths… As a society we cannot keep putting band aids on a gaping wound.”

Read the article: ‘Will cost lives’: addiction experts condemn decision to scrap proposed safe injecting room in Melbourne’s CBD by Benita Kolovos in The Guardian.

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