Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson
The Police Minister, Rene Hidding, today refused out of hand to consider pill testing measures at festivals as a way of protecting young people from harm, despite support from the Police Association.
The Minister’s comment that pill testing would be "quality assurance for drug pushers" shows he fundamentally misunderstands safe drug policy. His ideology is at odds with good health policy, parents' concerns and the views of the Police Association.
The war on drugs doesn’t work, and it won’t stop festival overdoses or deaths. Minister Hidding might be prepared to turn his back on the fact that young people will continue to experiment with drugs, but we won't.
We should do everything we can to keep our young people safe. The Greens and the Police Association both agree pill testing will go a long way to doing that.
Young people have always indulged in risky behaviour, and they always will. A law and order approach doesn't work, it just leads eventually to hospitalisations and, in the worst cases, to death.
Minister Hidding is totally out of touch with reality. The role of government is to keep young people safe during the years when they are vulnerable.