16th November 2023 09:51
Victorian Legislative Council, Melbourne

Rachel PAYNE (South-Eastern Metropolitan) (09:51): 

Last night I attended, with a number of my colleagues in this chamber, a vigil outside on the steps of Parliament, representing keeping our city alive. This vigil was in remembrance of a lot of those lives lost through overdose. We heard from many guest speakers. So many of them were family members – brothers, sisters, parents – of people who have died from overdose in our city.

These are completely preventable deaths that are occurring right on our doorsteps. Only two nights ago I was also confronted by the reality of the situation on Bourke Street as I helped assist a man outside of a convenience store, and thankfully the attendant of the store was there as well as someone who worked at the Salvation Army and was able to help this man, who was drifting in and out of consciousness.

Thankfully the ambulance was called and was on its way, but all I could think of at that moment was that we are calling ambulances to come and assist people when we have heard time and time again that there is a commitment to a second safe injecting centre in the city.

I would just like to also reflect on the fact that there have been 390 heroin-related ambulance call-outs in the city in the last two years, and 29 is the number of people that have died of overdose in the city. They are people’s family and friends, and these deaths are preventable. So I call on the government to respond to that.


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