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Liberals Still Holding Back Pill Testing

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 6 February 2020

Tags: Pill Testing, Health, Drug Policy, Festivals

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

People who have experienced the friendly vibe and spectacular music of Party in the Paddock will be sad this weekend’s festival is the last.

The PITP team have built a community-focused, socially conscious festival, and have always worked to make it an enjoyable and safe experience. The event has set a fantastic example to other festival organisers.

PITP has consistently gone above and beyond to ensure the health and safety of festival-goers. They take seriously their responsibility as event organisers to provide a safe environment, which is why they have pursued getting pill testing services at the festival.

It is shameful the Liberal Government actively thwarted the efforts of PITP organisers to provide pill testing to their patrons. Pill testing is a proven harm-reduction measure, which the NSW Coroner recommended be immediately adopted at music festivals to save young people’s lives.

Despite the medical evidence, the results of an independent ANU review of ACT trials, the passionate advocacy of past police commissioners, judges, state premiers and parent groups, and the demands of thousands of Tasmanians, the Liberals have dug-in against sanctioning pill testing services for ideological reasons.

Pill testing in Tasmania would not require a change of legislation – it could occur if the Police Minister simply gave the necessary directions to the Police Commissioner. The only barrier to pill testing in Tasmania is the Liberal Party.

Festivals like PITP want to make sure they provide the safest possible environment to their patrons, but the Liberal Party is standing in their way.

The Liberals are playing culture-war politics on pill testing, instead of putting the safety and lives of young people first.

PITP has done everything they can to provide patrons with on-site support from existing health services, but would have welcomed the opportunity to also educate young people about the contents of their drugs, and to avoid as many drug-related health issues as possible.

We hope Jesse and all the other organisers have a terrific last festival, and we wish them well in their future endeavours.