Pill testing helps prevent festival deaths, yet new Premier refuses to listen


The Victorian Greens have said the Victorian Labor Government is looking more desperate by the day as the Premier continues to ignore the mounting evidence in favour of pill testing.

A new study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy has found that more than 60 music festival drug-related deaths in Australia over 20 years could have been prevented with harm reduction strategies like a pill testing service.

In Victoria, four coroners in six years have called for a pill-testing service.

Victorian Greens drug harm reduction spokesperson, Aiv Puglielli, said pill testing would help keep young people safe by putting them into contact with an alcohol and drug counsellor before taking a potentially lethal substance.

He added that the new Premier had an opportunity to change Labor’s tune on the issue, and put the health and safety of young people first.

This morning the Premier told ABC Melbourne she was “seeking further advice” on pill testing.

The Greens currently have a joint bill before Parliament, which would establish a two-year pill testing trial in Victoria.

Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens drug harm reduction spokesperson, Aiv Puglielli MLC:

“The experts keep telling us pill testing works, yet under this Premier’s leadership this government refuses to take its fingers out of its ears.

“How many more reports, how many more preventable deaths will need to occur for the new Premier to stop this useless ‘thoughts and prayers’ approach?

“Each day the Labor Government refuses to listen to expert health advice and back pill testing is another day a young person is at risk of overdose or drug-related death.

“Sniffer dogs will not save lives. Tough talk from cops and politicians will not save lives. Pill testing will.”