March 2021|Media, Research
Neil Mitchel of 3aw believes that the injecting room is “off the rails” and should be moved as it is “putting the lives of addicts ahead of the lives of residents and kids.”
But what is more concerning is his interview with the Secretary of Victorian ambulance union Danny Hill. In Danny Hills interview he said many falsehoods and repeated misinformation.
At the start of the interview which you can listen to in the address below, he stated that “Previously we had around 30 deaths in the space of a year in that block and we haven’t had one since.” When questioned about the person who unfortunately died on Thursday he said that “I don’t know the circumstances of yesterday”
Eventually after more cross examination he admitted that he meant that there were “No deaths in the room”
Neil Mitchel asked if there had been any deaths in the area, and he replied “Look I don’t know. But um, there’s none that I um, …that would be the first one, um, that I’ve heard of since the centre has been open.” And that “We had many many more bodies in the streets prior to this centre being opened”
he continued to say that “In the Richmond area the coroner found that there was about 30 [deaths] that went on over the space of a year in a three or four block radius.”
But let’s get to the facts.
The coroner did not say that there were 30 deaths in a three or four block area (which has consistently been misquoted), but rather that in the entire City of Yarra there were 25 deaths in 2018, 16 in 2017, 20 in 2016, 19 in 2015 and 11 in 2014. No square block of area was ever mentioned. This is data from the entire City of Yarra which includes Abbotsford, Collingwood, Carlton, Clifton Hill, Cremorne, Burnley and Fitzroy.
Secondly, the review report showed that whilst in the years before the injection centre, the City of Yarra averaged 19 heroin related deaths per year, in the first 15 months of the injecting rooms operation, the City of Yarra has had 27 deaths, or at a slightly increased rate of 21.6 per year. That’s right, the City of Yarra has seen a greater number of heroin related deaths since the injecting room has been operating.
How the Secretary of Victorian ambulance union Danny Hill remarkably is unaware of this is startling. His falsehood of “many many more bodies” beforehand is clearly wrong, misleading, and outright deceitful.
Even if we look at the number of heroin related deaths within 1km of the injecting room, the review panel report shows that prior to the injecting rooms operation there was on average 10.6 deaths per year. Since the rooms operation the death rate within 1km of the injecting room has been at a rate of 12.8 deaths per year, or a 20% increase.
There wasn’t many many more deaths before. In fact the complete opposite. The number of heroin related deaths in City of Yarra and North Richmond has increased.
Perhaps Secretary of Victorian ambulance union Danny Hill should get his facts right and his memory sorted before he tries again to mislead the public.
Feel free to email Neil Mitchel and also educate Danny Hills here in the links shown below: