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Labor Backflip on Protecting Young Lives

13 Aug 2019

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

The Labor Party’s decision to oppose Independent MLC, Ruth Forrest’s pill testing Motion makes it clear they’ve abandoned their party platform.

Tragic deaths interstate have further reinforced the need for pill testing and education facilities at Tasmanian festivals. There's strong health evidence this approach saves lives.

Ms Forrest’s Motion was carefully worded to include the facts about pill testing and a call for the Government to investigate a trial. Voting against it confirms Labor have prioritised politics over evidence and the advice of medical professionals about how to save young lives. 

Labor apparently claims the health of Tasmanians is their top priority, but they have abandoned both their pokies and pill testing policies. Their commitment to preventative health clearly only stands when it suits them politically.

Despite David O’Byrne stating on ABC radio yesterday more trials were needed to collect evidence about pill testing, it seems his party won’t support a health-related trial in Tasmania.

The so-called Opposition is calling for more evidence but will not support Tasmanian-specific data being collected as part of a trial. There is no sense in that.

If Labor won’t put the health and well-being of young people front and centre, what do they stand for?

The most powerful tool Members of Parliament have is their vote on the floor. If Labor members won’t use their votes to protect young lives, why are they even there?

The Greens are steadfast in our support of sound health policy that saves lives. We will be giving the Parliament another opportunity to vote on pill testing.

We hope the Labor Party will recover themselves by the time we bring the matter back before Parliament, and put the health of young Tasmanians before petty politics.