Why Neil Mitchell thinks the controversial site for the second injecting room was chosen
The state government announcement that a second supervised injecting room will open near the Queen Victoria Market has been met with much criticism.
Neil Mitchell says he suspicious about the choice of location.
“I think it’s a tactic,” the 3AW Mornings host said.
“I reckon somebody in government has said ‘We need a new injecting room to keep the Greens onside. Richmond has caused havoc, so there’s going to be a lot of complaints. Let’s say we’ll put it at Queen Victoria Market, everyone will be furious about that, then we can agree under pressure to move it just up the road and that will be accepted. People will think they’ve had a victory and we’ll cop what we wanted all along’.
“This used to be called, in the union days, an ambit claim.
“You state the outrageous, then back down to the less outrageous, which is what you wanted all along.”
Neil said the lack of community, police or council consultation points to his theory.
“I don’t know it’s fact, I’m just interpreting it — but no consultation, guaranteed community fury, fights with the council — why would they do it?,” he said.
Press PLAY below for Neil’s theory.
One of the members of the independent panel which has spent 18 months reviewing the Richmond injecting room says the panel recommended the second supervised facility be opened within the City of Melbourne council, but did not provide more specific location advice.
CEO of the Penington Institute and panel member, John Ryan, says the chosen site near the Queen Victoria Market makes sense.
“We provided advice at the municipal level … it pointed to the city of Melbourne as the second most affected area,” he told Neil Mitchell.
“They’ve obviously narrowed that down to the site that’s been announced.
“There’s a lot of logic to that site but I think time will tell in terms of community feedback.”
Mr Ryan said, if properly operated, the facility should not negatively impact the area.
“There’s never a perfect position,” he said.
“If it’s property managed and properly implemented … it can be basically pretty much invisible to the local community.”
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