After quietly placing a consultation link on the Engage Victoria website, Labor has given Victorians just 21 days to have their say on a decision that will shape the future of our city.
There are fears that the survey is just another box ticking exercise in what has been a long and arduous process around a second injecting room in Melbourne’s CBD.
On 7 March, the Premier told Victorians; “We bought a building. We think there’s a strong case to have a second injecting facility, however it’s got to be at the right location”.
The Premier must address concerns Victorians hold around the location of the second injecting room when he has already bought the former Yooralla building at a cost of over $40 million when the location has apparently not been finalised.
It is absolutely essential that local businesses and residents have the opportunity to have their say about an injecting room for the CBD, but it’s impossible to have any confidence that Labor will actually listen when a building has already been purchased by the government.
This follows the announcement by the Premier almost three years ago that he was commissioning a report to determine the preferred site of a second injecting room in Melbourne’s CBD, originally to be completed by December 2020.
Last year it was confirmed that Ken Lay had provided his final report to the government, but it has been veiled in secrecy and Labor refuses to release any detail – presumably because it didn’t match its narrative.
CBD business owners and residents are right to be concerned – Labor has ignored the ongoing issues around safety and amenity at the North Richmond injecting room and the impact on the neighbouring primary school and their young students.
Daniel Andrews’ injecting room not only has dismally failed to deliver on its own legislated KPIs, but has made the original problems much, much worse.
Degraves Street and CBD laneways simply will not cope with the high volume of police and ambulance attendances that Daniel Andrews’ injecting room has proven to attract.
The Andrews Government must release all of Ken Lay’s reports and briefings over the past three years, including who signed off on the premature purchase of the former Yooralla building on Degraves Street before any consultation took place.