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Pill testing likely for Australian festivals next summer

Authorities in a few states are backing the measure

  • SCOTT CARBINES
  • 2 May 2016

Pill testing looks likely to be introduced at Australian festivals next summer. Just not in New South Wales (NSW).

Emergency medical specialist Dr David Caldicott, one of the leading voices advocating for the harm minimisation approach to be introduced in Australia, told Fairfax Media discussions were progressing with authorities in some states, but would not say which.

"We've got the funding. Meetings with law enforcement have been face to face and in more than one jurisdiction outside of NSW," Dr Caldicott said.

"There are very senior police supporting us currently. There are very senior politicians supporting us currently. We are now working out how we can have a system in place for the forthcoming festival season."

The conservative NSW government does not support pill testing and has said it has not changed its stance. In February, Dr Caldicott and Dr Alex Wodak, head of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation, said they were prepared to trial pill testing and risk arrest at events in Sydney and around the state anyway.

With a progressive government, Melbourne's home of Victoria is a likely starting point for pill testing with the support of authorities in Australia.

We spoke with Dr Wodak about why pill testing needs to be introduced earlier this year. Read what he had to say here.

[Via: Fairfax Media]

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

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