Professor Robert Power


Currently there is a significant body of evidence supporting the need for the establishment and continuation of the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Sydney, however similar local evidence does not exist in Melbourne. Evidence for the need for a supervised injecting facility (SIF) and other harm reduction measures is required, to support the development of appropriate interventions, tailored to local needs.

This project involves a collaboration between the Yarra Drug and Health Forum (YDHF), and the Burnet Institute. The project will firstly assess the need for a Supervised Injecting Facility in the City of Yarra, Melbourne by documenting local evidence of public injecting drug use and associated impacts on public amenity. Secondly, a context-appropriate SIF operational model will be proposed and described.


  1. Compile evidence of the need for a SIF in the City of Yarra, Melbourne, through collecting and analyzing primary and secondary data of indicators of public injecting and impacts on public amenity;
  2. Gather evidence about the number, type and frequency of overdoses amongst injecting drug users in the City of Yarra, specifically the North Richmond and Abbotsford areas; and,
  3. Develop a public health response to the above issues focused on a harm reduction strategy that will inform the development of an appropriate SIF model.

Who Will Benefit?

The most significant outcome will be a more informed and relevant evidence base for the City of Yarra and the Yarra Drug and Health Forum and various other agencies to advocate for the establishment of a Supervised Injecting Facility that will save lives, improve the amenity of the local community and create a safer environment.


This project will involve analysis of primary and secondary data. We will:

·  Gather and analyse existing data sets from a variety of sources e.g. Ambulance Services, Primary Health Care facilities, local government and contractors, drug and alcohol treatment agencies etc.

·  Collect primary data using ethnographic methods, through observation of drug use, injecting and disposal practices in the City of Yarra; and,

·  Review the various existing SIF models both locally and internationally to inform the development of a model for the City of Yarra.




For more information relating to this project, please contact Robert Power: