Melbourne's original injecting room to stay

Melbourne's original injecting room will stay open and receive extra funding despite the Victorian government rejecting advice for a second facility in the CBD.

Premier Jacinta Allan ruled out the creation of a new centre under her leadership, contrary to a recommendation from former police commissioner Ken Lay who the government tasked with exploring a supervised injecting service in the city.

On Wednesday, Ms Allan reiterated her commitment to the existing injecting room at North Richmond and said it would receive extra support.

"We are going through a process to strengthen the service that's delivered there," Ms Allan told reporters in South Morang.

She said the creation of the North Richmond centre had a "very different trajectory" to that of the proposed facility in the city.

"We've recommitted to that site because we see having a safe supervised injecting facility as part of our programs that support people who use drugs in taking a health led approach," Ms Allan said.

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan
Premier Jacinta Allan ruled out the creation of a second injecting facility in the Melbourne CBD. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

A key reason Ms Allan gave for scrapping the second site was that no location could be found that met the needs of both drug users and the wider CBD community.

It was welcomed by the business community and police but slammed by medical professionals.

Instead of a new injecting facility, $95 million will be spent on health strategies including a medical hub at Flinders Street, a new trial of a treatment for drug addiction and other services available around Victoria.

The location of the original site in North Richmond has caused concern among some locals as it is next to a primary school, however Ms Allan said she had not been given advice recommending it be moved.

In 2022, 549 Victorians died from drug overdoses and more than one-in-10 fatal heroin overdoses occurred in the City of Melbourne, making it the area with the highest number of deaths.

Ms Allan has cited that statistic as a reason why Victoria needs a statewide approach, as ninety per cent of deaths occurred outside the CBD.

Medical director of Sydney's supervised injecting facility Marianne Jauncy said the decision to scrap the second facility in Melbourne was disappointing.

"The situation has actually got worse since this report was written so Melbourne needs even more to have a supervised injection facility," Dr Jauncy told ABC's Radio National.

"Generally people will use their drugs where they've bought their drugs, which is why you have to locate these services in the areas that (drug use) is already a problem.

"In fact, what we saw in Europe where many hundreds of these services operate, it was actually the business communities that were calling for them because they wanted to take injecting off the streets."

Supervised Injecting Room at North Richmond
The location of the original injecting room in North Richmond has caused concern among some locals. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

On Tuesday, Victorian opposition leader John Pesutto said the coalition "hadn't made a decision" about introducing legislation to scrap the North Richmond facility.

He questioned why resources were tied up in one place when the government recognised there was a statewide problem.

"We are now very concerned about the future of North Richmond, we've always said it shouldn't be located next to a school," Mr Pesutto said.