The City of Melbourne has voted against a state government push to put another medically supervised injecting room near a major market.
Councillors unanimously voted against 53 Victoria Street in Melbourne being turned into the state’s second drug injecting centre.
The City of Melbourne knocked back the “preferred site” due to its proximity to Queen Victoria Market – home to traders, shoppers and tourists.
Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood put a motion to council at a Future Melbourne Committee meeting on Tuesday night that the site was not right.
His motion states there is a lack of associated medical services including rapid detox and rehabilitation beds, and that the site is not big enough to house a medically supervised injecting room like the one in North Richmond.
“This shouldn’t be a location lottery of where the medically supervised injecting room goes,” Mr Wood said at the meeting.
“It should be a data-driven, objective and community engaged successful outcome for the community and those who are battling this scourge of addiction.”
The council has made two requests for information on what sites were assessed and what criteria was used, and is waiting on answers.
Council says it will work with the state government to evaluate other suitable site options.
Councillors agreed for the chief executive officer to write to the Mental Health Minister Martin Foley and former top cop Ken Lay, who is leading the charge for the centre, to outlay the city’s concerns.
An independent review of the original centre in North Richmond suggested a second be built in the City of Melbourne, near the Queen Victoria Markets, the government’s preferred site.
The City of Melbourne has a 299 year lease over the site and the cohealth lease only runs for another 18-months, meaning the centre cannot go ahead at the site without council approval, the motion reads.
There have been 51 heroin-related deaths in the city’s boundaries between January 2015 and September 2019.