At the Yarra Council meeting 8/10/19, RVSDS put the following submission
Residents for Victoria Street Drug Solutions' submission
11.4 Public health, amenity and safety update and actions taken in North Richmond and Abbotsford
RVSDS believes that a shift in focus from the MSIR trial to the ongoing and long-term renewal of a very fragile community is long overdue.
RVSDS always considered the MSIR trial to be the first stage of a journey of re-invigoration for all stakeholders in our diverse, dynamic community: NRCH, MSIR, RWPS, business groups and all residents - public housing estate and others - in North Richmond and South Abbotsford.
Renewal was always going to be impossible without first addressing the public injecting/health issues that dogged the local community for decades. This is now being managed by the MSIR trial.
RVSDS eagerly awaits the findings and recommendations of the Expert Review Panel.
In the meantime, RVSDS urges Council to continue to address outstanding issues relating to the public amenity and needs of public housing residents.
RVSDS acknowledges the excellent work the Council has done in cleaning our streets and collecting syringes. Long overdue, the extra investment of $300k has made a big difference. It must be an ongoing commitment.
A suggestion is the recommencement of Yarra Community Friends, a mentoring program for young children/teenagers that was de-funded in 2016.
In summary, RVSDS supports Option 2 as an important initiative in kick-starting the next important stage of community renewal.
Given the very recent commencement of the Place Manager for the Victorian Government’s North Richmond Community Capacity Building Initiative, officers could continue to work with local stakeholders to support their establishment of an appropriate and representative community engagement committee (or similar), focusing on ensuring on-going community dialogue on wider precinct amenity and safety. This would include but not be limited to:
(a) Establish a collaborative and proactive relationship with the new Place Manager of the Victorian Government’s Social Landlord project at Richmond Housing Estate, who commenced in the role in a full-time capacity in September 2019
(b) Report back to Council before the end of 2019 with an update on community sentiment, any new actions undertaken in the interim period by stakeholders servicing the space and an update on progress of the North Richmond Community Capacity Building Initiative