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First Australian festival gets approval for pill testing

Harm minimisation has taken a huge step forward in the country

  • 22 September 2017

Canberra's Spilt Milk festival will be the first in Australia to provide on-site pill testing in a huge step forward for harm minimisation in the country.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government gave its tick of approval after months of negotiations with the Safety Testing Advisory Service at Festivals and Events (STA-SAFE) consortium, which will run the service.

Harm Reduction Australia, the Australian Drug Observatory, Noffs Foundation, DanceWize and Students for Sensible Drug Policy will lead the operation.

Professionals in the event's medical area will scrape off a small amount of the drug to analyse. Festival-goers will be told what the substance contains and have the chance to discard it in an amnesty bin.

Regardless of the outcome of the test, attendees will be warned about health risks, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Alison Wonderland, Carmada, Cashmere Cat and What So Not are among the artists playing the festival on November 25.

ACT Minister for Health and Wellbeing Meegan Fitzharris said: "Pill testing means young people who are considering taking drugs can be informed about what’s really in their pills and how potent they are. And it creates an opportunity to remind them of the risks before they make the final decision to take a drug."

Scott Carbines is Mixmag's Australian Digital Content Editor, follow him on Twitter

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