The Greens are trying to pressure Parliament to debate their pill-testing bill after two men died at a music festival in Sydney last month.
Greens MLC Cate Faehrmann will present her drug control bill in second reading. It would allow organizations – including festival organizers – to apply for one of three mobile licenses and a fixed site license to conduct pill testing.
The New South Wales government has no plans to introduce pill testing. Prime Minister Chris Minns argues this is not a complete solution to preventing drug-related deaths.
“I don’t want to give anyone the impression that pill testing is a silver bullet that can prevent any harm at a festival,” he said last week.
Minns has said he won’t consider pill testing or other major reforms until after the promised drug summit. This summit still needs to be planned.
A spokesperson said the New South Wales government would work to implement “sensible harm reduction initiatives” to support a safe environment at festivals.
“Pill testing can test for the presence of certain compounds in a pill or capsule, but not all.” It also doesn’t take a person’s physiology into account. “It therefore does not mean that a pill is safe to take,” the spokesperson said.
Faehrmann is hoping to gain support from caucus members, with Legalize Cannabis MLC Jeremy Buckingham and Labor’s Stephen Lawrence expressing their support for pill testing in Parliament last week.
Under the proposed law, license holders would be required to notify the Chief Health Officer, the NSW Police Commissioner and the NSW Health Deputy Secretary within 24 hours of new contaminants and high potency drugs and submit a report of their findings to be tabled in Parliament .