Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (17:53): (1968) My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Health and relates to drug checking. It was only a short while ago that I asked a question without notice of the minister with respect to the coronial inquest into the tragic death of Mr S, who died on 28 June 2020 at 20 years of age of mixed drug toxicity. So it saddens me greatly to be standing here today raising a separate inquest into the death of Mr P, who died on 21 September 2020, aged 26, also of mixed drug toxicity. Mr P was a young man. He was an apprentice mechanic. He was a keen soccer player. He was a keen footballer. He was loved by his family. He was living a young man’s life in a group house, and sadly he died. He died, as did Mr S, of synthetic cathinones—as did 33 other people in Victoria in 2020. Thirty-three people died of synthetic cathinones not knowing that that is what they had taken. Coroner Sarah Gebert recommended with respect to both:
That the Department of Health, as the appropriate arm of the Victorian Government, implements a drug checking service in the State of Victoria as a matter of urgency, to reduce the number of preventable deaths (and nonfatal harms) associated with the use of drugs obtained from unregulated drug markets.
The recommendation mirrors that of Coroner Paresa Spanos with respect to five preceding overdose deaths. These deaths are preventable, so the action I seek is that the minister accept the recommendations of these inquests and implement a drug-checking service in Victoria.
Fiona Patten MP
Leader of Reason
Member for Northern Metropolitan Region
Adjournment debate 8/6/22
The Department of Health is considering the findings of Coroner Gebert. The Department of Health’s Secretary, to whom the recommendations were addressed, will respond to the Court in due course.
The Hon. Mary-Anne Thomas MP
Minister for Health
Minister for Ambulance Services