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Socialist councillor’s radical proposal for supervised injecting facility

3aw mornings

A socialist Yarra City councillor has suggested selling heroin at the medically supervised injecting facility at North Richmond to get users off the streets.

Since opening midway through last year, the injecting facility claims to have safely managed 650 overdoses.

It’s reduced ambulance call outs, but it hasn’t been a silver bullet.

Two lives have been lost on the streets in recent weeks.

Local residents still report seeing users shoot up in the surrounding area to the centre.

It’s prompted Yarra Councillor Stephen Jolly to put forward a radical idea.

“In places like Zurich in Switzerland the health centres actually distribute heroin,” he said.

But Upper House MP Fiona Patten, a supporter of the centre, was quick to shoot down the idea.

“It’s not going to happen,” she said.

Ms Patten told Neil Mitchell she was hopeful the situation improving when the larger facility – with increased hours – opens next month.

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