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Pill Testing to Save Young Tasmanian Lives

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Tags: Pill Testing, Drug Policy, Health


Last week 12 young people were hospitalised on the Gold Coast after consuming a drug they thought was ecstasy. Twenty-seven-year-old Ricky Stevens later died. In fact, what they took was a synthetic drug cocktail, nothing like ecstasy. Right now, young Tasmanians are planning for a summer of fun, music and dancing with their friends. People are booking their Falls Festival tickets. Backyard labs overseas and in Australia are concocting synthetic drugs. There are no standards on the ballooning illegal drug industry and it is Russian roulette for the people who taken them. Will you step in and allow testing of drugs at the Falls Festival to make sure there are no more drug deaths? What will you do to save young people's lives in Tasmania?



Madam Speaker, I read the details of those awful circumstances on the Gold Coast. All of us, particularly as parents, were aghast at what can happen in those circumstances. There is no question that at some of these functions where many young people gather - and you have raised Falls Festival. I am not sure it is particularly helpful to the Falls Festival for you to do it in that way but -

Greens members interjecting.

Mr HIDDING - Madam Speaker, I am sure that the member who asked the question is very aware of the circumstances in place at Falls Festival where certain organisations operate facilities for any person at the festival who feels unsure of their health and their situation to freely seek medical advice or a quick check-over.

Opposition members interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order. The interjections will cease. The Minister is attempting to answer the question.

Mr HIDDING - Madam Speaker, at that festival for the last couple of years there was a very caring system put in place. Tasmania Police plays a role in that. As for the notion that the Tasmanian Greens appear to have that Tasmania Police will set up a special tent, bring in some chemists and invite all the drug dealers over here -

Green members interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order. I am not going to allow constant interjections.

Mr HIDDING - There are many things that the modern police service gets involved but I cannot imagine where a modern police service would get into quality control for drug dealers.