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Police union boss says we’re being taken ‘for fools’ by government

Neil Mitchell
Article image for Police union boss says we’re being taken ‘for fools’ by government

The head of the police union says the state government is either clueless or taking Victorians for “for fools” after it insisted it had not decided where it would build Melbourne’s second supervised drug-injecting facility, despite spending millions on the former Yooralla building opposite Flinders Street Station.

There is strong opposition to the facility being built in the heart of the CBD, with business owners concerned about the possible impacts of crime and people staying away.

The police union is also opposed to the proposal.

Martin Foley revealed on Tuesday the government had paid $40.3 million for the building, but maintains a decision on how it would be used is yet to be made.

Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt likened the government’s stance to a TV comedy.

“I reckon Rob Sitch could use this as a script for Utopia, fair dinkum,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“The government, at a minute past midnight, puts out a press release saying they bought a building but they don’t know what they’re going to use it for.

“They’re either taking Victorians for fools, or they really don’t have a clue what’s going on.

“I would just prefer that if you’re going to just ignore the community, if you’re going to ignore their opposition, if you’re going to ignore the advice, then just have the guts to stand up and say that.

“But don’t take us all for fools.”

Press PLAY below to hear Wayne Gatt’s smackdown on 3AW

The leader of the Reason Party said she was none-the-wiser as to whether the government intended to use the site.

However, Fiona Patten rejected suggestions drug-injecting facilities lead to an increase in crime.

She disputes the situation has got worse in North Richmond, despite police figures suggesting the opposite.

“That’s where I dispute it, Neil,” Ms Patten said.

Press PLAY below to hear Fiona Patten make her case

Neil Mitchell
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