Di Natale welcomes the Victorian Government Medically Supervised Injecting Rooms

Senator Richard Di Natale (Victoria) (Medically Supervised Injecting Rooms): I wish to inform the chamber that Senator Keneally will also sponsor the motion. I, and also on behalf of Senator Keneally, move:

That the Senate—

(a) welcomes the announcement from the Victorian government that a life-saving medically supervised injecting facility will be opened in the Melbourne CBD; only the second in Victoria and third in Australia;

(b) further welcomes the continuation of the trial of the Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR) in North Richmond for another three years;

(c) notes that the MSIR trial review, released last week, found that:

(i) since its commencement in June 2018, the North Richmond MSIR has been one of the busiest supervised injecting facilities in the world, with 119,223 visits in the first 18 months,

(ii) despite 271 serious overdose incidents, no overdose deaths have occurred in the MSIR, and at least 21 lives have been saved,

(iii) there has been a reduction in local ambulance call-outs due to overdoses, and

(iv) there has been a reduction in reports of public injecting;

(d) acknowledges that the Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (Uniting MSIC), which opened in Kings Cross, Sydney, in May 2001 has managed 8,500 overdoses since commencement with zero deaths;

(e) notes with concern that in Australia there are more than 2,000 preventable drug overdose deaths per year; (f) recognises that supervised injecting facilities save lives; and
(g) calls on the Government to act to prevent drug overdose deaths by:

(i) supporting the states and territories in the establishment of supervised injecting facilities wherever there is need across Australia,

(ii) expanding access to drug treatment programs across Australia,

(iii) expanding access to needle and syringe programs across the country, including urgent roll out of trials inside prisons, and

(iv) promoting awareness of the life-saving opioid reversal drug naloxone and making it free for all people at risk of experiencing or witnessing an overdose.

Source Parliament of Australia Website 2020