Victoria Minister for Housing Wendy Lovell
Security Boost For Richmond Public Housing Estate
Victor P Taffa
The Victorian Coalition Government is working with Police to address the problem of the sale and use of drugs at a low-rise housing estate on Elizabeth Street in Richmond.
Immediate measures approved include:
• The installation of four new CCTV cameras in the walk-up area of the Richmond estate,
• Increasing Police presence at the estate, by using a unit in the walk-up area as a Police command post,
• Working with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade to find a solution to the inappropriate use of fire-hoses by drug users and dealers.
The Office of Housing is also working with the local council to allow parking officers to issue parking infringement notices in and around the walk-up units in the estate to restrict drug users and dealers from accessing the area.
Minister for Housing Wendy Lovell has met with senior police and officials from the Office of Housing to set up a working group, which will explore further responses to the drug activity and related anti-social behaviour at the estate.
The walk-up area of the public housing estate at Richmond comprises 107 units in nine blocks.
Many of the 218 residents have reported feeling intimidated by large groups of drug and alcohol-affected people, who congregate in the area to sell and use drugs.
“This is about making the estate a safer place for families to live.” Ms. Lovell said.
“The Coalition Government is sending a strong message that illegal activity will not be tolerated in Victoria’s public housing properties, through measures such as these and through legislative amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act.”
These amendments close a loophole which has seen drug dealers living in public housing escaping eviction, even after being caught dealing in common areas of public housing estates.