Plan to block market injecting site: mayor

Karen Sweeney
·1-min read

Freshly re-elected Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp will push for whatever it takes to block a new medically supervised injecting room near a major tourist attraction.

The City of Melbourne has already voted against a state government pitch to locate a second injecting room a block from the Queen Victoria Market.

Ms Capp, who was re-elected for another term on Wednesday, has vowed to push for whatever steps are necessary to pick another site.

She says legal advice hasn't been explored yet, but technicalities - including the council's control of the site at 53 Victoria Street - might be used to block the location.

"Yeah I do think we'll (block it) - I'll certainly champion whatever measures are necessary because in my view that's not the most appropriate site for the injecting room," she told Melbourne's 3AW radio on Thursday.

Former Victoria Police chief Ken Lay is overseeing the rollout of a second safe injecting room, as well as one already operating in Richmond.

Ms Capp said it was important to first work through that process, noting her understanding was the market site was not a recommended site.

The City has a 299-year lease over the site and a co-health lease that still has months left to run, meaning the centre cannot go ahead without the council approval.

Ms Capp said a number of "technicalities" could be used, but she wanted to work with the state government to determine an appropriate location.

There were 51 heroin-related deaths in the city's boundaries between January 2015 and September 2019.