UPDATE 02/02/17: Port Phillip Council has voted in favour of a pill testing trial at events in its local area. Details here.
ORIGINAL STORY: There are renewed calls to trial pill testing at Australian music festivals and clubs, this time in Melbourne’s south.
As Fairfax Media reports, this Wednesday night, The City Of Port Phillip will vote on a motion to introduce pill testing — a motion which is being supported by two local councillors and The Greens.
Port Phillip councillors Dick Gross and Ogy Simic are backing the motion, which is calling on the Victorian Government to pass laws which will allow pill testing trials to go ahead, and to also contribute funding for the pilot programs.
“If we get a trial in Port Phillip it will give our venues and festivals a competitive advantage,” Mr Gross says. “We can say they’re safer.”
Although Councillors Gross and Simic are unsure if their motion will be successful, they believe the upcoming St Kilda Festival later this month would be a suitable place to conduct a pill testing trial. Music Feeds has contacted the festival for comment.
The Victorian Government remains publicly opposed to pill testing, while The Greens have called for a Government-backed program to be implemented to minimise harm from illicit substances.
The renewed calls for pill testing in Victoria come after police seized a range of illegal drugs at the recent Rainbow Serpent Festival. A 22-year-old man who attended the festival also died after reportedly drinking amyl nitrite, also known as “poppers”.
A “bad batch” of MDMA also led to multiple deaths and overdoses in Melbourne in January.
Later this year, a Victorian Government parliamentary inquiry will examine the laws around illicit and synthetic drugs, and prescription medication.