Premier Allan's comments on pill testing 'cowardly', and a kick in the guts to young Victorians


The Victorian Greens have called Premier Allan’s comments on pill testing cowardly, and say without it young people will continue to be at greater risk of overdose or drug-related death.

Over the weekend eight people were sent to hospital in a critical condition following a suspected drug overdose at the Hardmission Festival in Flemington.

In response, the Greens renewed their call on the Victorian Labor Government to introduce pill testing. 

The Greens, the Animal Justice Party, and Legalise Cannabis Victoria currently have a joint bill before Parliament that would establish a two-year trial.

However, in comments made to the media yesterday by the Premier – her first on the issue since coming into power last year – she ruled out any immediate plans for pill testing.

She also shifted blame to festival goers, saying “there's a personal responsibility here”.

And as reports overnight have indicated, Victoria Police plan to respond to the incident in Flemington by sending packs of sniffer dogs to Juicy Fest in Melbourne this Friday.

Acting Leader of the Victorian Greens, Aiv Puglielli, said the Premier’s response to the incident had been nothing short of cowardly, and a kick in the guts to young people across the state.

He added that pill testing would save lives, not sniffer dogs and tough talk from police and politicians.

Quotes attributable to Acting Leader of the Victorian Greens, Aiv Puglielli MLC:

"What a cowardly response. Rather than listen to the years of evidence and expert advice telling us pill testing saves lives, the new Premier is instead blaming young people and putting reform in the too-hard basket.

“This batch of drugs is still circulating and people are still at risk. The Victorian Labor Government has the power to help keep young people from harm, and they’re choosing not to.

“Victim-blaming and making snide remarks while these young people fight for their lives in hospital will only lead to more tragedy. Do better.

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