Regional

Melbourne injecting room to allow ice

By AAP Newswire

Any drug of dependence, including ice, will be able to be injected in Melbourne's new supervised injecting room despite the state government previously saying it would be banned.

The medically supervised injecting centre's regulations say any drug of dependence can be injected at the facility, but users must have less than a traffickable amount.

"The government is following the advice of the expert panel, which includes Victoria Police. This trial will save lives and that's why we're doing it," Mental Health Minister Martin Foley said in a statement on Wednesday.

Mr Foley said the regulations are in line with Sydney's King Cross safe injecting room, which hasn't had a death since opening more than 15 years ago.

"Even the Opposition spokesperson in her contribution to the parliamentary debate said that by making it only a heroin injecting room, it would miss many other Victorians who are multi drug users," Mr Foley said.

Under the centre's guidelines, clients must disclose what drugs they intend to use, so staff are ready for any potential overdose.

Any client that appears to have drugs above the permitted amount will not be allowed inside the North Richmond Community Health Service room.

People with a criminal history will also not be allowed to work there, while those known to be on parole, bail, or subject to any other court or tribunal order will be banned from using drugs in the room.

The government previously announced the centre will be trialled in the inner-Melbourne overdose hotspot in a bid to battle the city's heroin scourge and that methamphetamines and ice would be banned.

The facility will be the second in Australia, modelled on Sydney's Kings Cross centre, which opened in 2001.

The two-year trial starts in June 2018.

There have been 34 deaths in the North Richmond area in 2017.