Disappointment As Pill Testing Overlooked In Festival Safety Review

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Disappointment As Pill Testing Overlooked In Festival Safety Review

Harm Reduction Australia have spoken out in reaction to the Berejiklian government's decision to introduce harsher laws for drugs at festivals.

The changes came in the wake of the two deaths at Defqon.1 in September, and include a new offence to make drug dealers responsible for deaths they cause, and on-the-spot fines for those found in possession of drugs.

Gino Vumbaca, President of Harm Reduction Australia, spoke with the Hit Newsroom about why he believes these measures aren't enough - and why pill testing needs to be an urgent priority.

"It's very disappointing on a number of levels. They've ignored the evidence," he said.

"We actually had the opportunity to meet with the panel and provide them with evidence about how we operate our pill testing to clarify the misconceptions that the government seem to have about how we operate pill testing.

"It hasn't got a look in, and what they're offering is more of the same. And that's not going to change anything.

"Everybody knows it's part of the solution. It's not a silver bullet, but it's certainly a part of the solution to make events safer.

"It's not that [parents] want kids to use drugs, but if they do, then they want the kids to come home safely.

"This approach just says that they're going to continue with the approach they had, even though we've seen deaths at festivals."

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