Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) — I thank all the contributors here today. I understand that time is of the essence, so I will be incredibly brief. I do appreciate everything that everyone has said. Even Mrs Peulich and I do agree on one thing: that this is not going to solve everything. This is just one part of saving lives. Yes, we desperately need more treatment and we desperately need more treatment beds, but this bill is simple. It is about saving lives. I started on the road of developing this bill after a young mother of two children died in a toilet, having overdosed on heroin at lunchtime in a fast food restaurant. In some poetic way it has finished with the coroner’s report coming out yesterday, and that coroner’s report was on the inquiry into the death of that young mother of two children. She has left two children without a mother, and she has left a mother without a daughter and a brother without a sister.
The coroner emphatically recommended that there be a trial of a medically supervised safe injecting centre in North Richmond to save lives; to help a cohort of people that have fallen through our cracks, some who are homeless or suffering from mental health issues, to help them find treatment and to help them find someone that cares for them; to reduce the ambulance call-outs; to help the residents in this area who are picking up needles, who are picking up people who have overdosed, who are providing CPR to people who have overdosed, who are picking up swabs and who are scared that when they see someone slumped on their front door that that person is dead; to help the traders who are feeling the same thing; and to help the paramedics and the police, who are going in there and spending their time dealing with overdoses when the police could be spending time dealing with drug dealers.
So I commend this bill. I commend the amendments that Mr Purcell has put forward. This is actually about sanctity of life. This is about doing something different. I look forward to the inquiry and commend the bill with the amendments.