The fires of the pill testing debate have been re-stoked. Since the leaking of NSW Coroner Harriet Grahame’s recommendations about the drug testing at music festivals, politicians from all sides have come out of the woodwork to add their two cents.
First Premier Gladys Berejiklian flatly panned the Coroners recommendations. Doubling down on her governments belief that education and abstinence is the only way forward the premier said “We believe its better to simply educate young people and tell them taking an illicit drug can kill you.”
NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay then turned the pressure up on the Berejiklian government by throwing Labor’s support behind a medical trial of pill testing at festivals ” “I would like to see a very contained number of music festivals where this is trialed, and I want to see a focus on education and training.”
Even Federal politicians offered their advice on how the State should best proceed. Federal MP Andrew Laming thinks that the Premier is right to refuse the pill testing, but believes that music festivals should have high tech medical facilities on site. Dr Laning went on to say “no one dies if they are in an intensive care unit.”
With the NSW government introducing legislation to reinstate the need for festivals deemed high risk to meet safety management guidelines, this is a conversation that is sure to continue.