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NSW Police Minister Says Pill Testing “Won’t Happen”, Despite Another Festival Death

Written by Tom Williams on January 4, 2017

New South Wales Police Minister Troy Grant has said pill testing at local music events “won’t happen”, despite a man dying and two others being rushed to hospital after taking an unidentified drug at a Queensland rave over the weekend.

Speaking with conservative columnist Miranda Devine on 2GB last night, Grant said he and the NSW Government will not change their minds over pill testing.

“People’s health, their lives, are being jeopardised by some of these foolish pursuits,” he said.

When asked about why he thinks pill testing shouldn’t be implemented in NSW, Grant said, “The number one problem is that what [advocates are] proposing is some sort of quality assurance measure for an illegal drug, for drug traffickers, to be conducted by police and the New South Wales Government — well that’s just not going to happen.

“It gives people a false sense of security that they pill test and somehow know the contents of it and it’s okay to consume. The clear message is it isn’t. It’s an illegal drug because it is dangerous, it is likely to kill you or cause irreversible harm.”

Grant went on to say that “there’s going to be no changes to making it legal”, and added that “there’s certainly going to be no investment by the New South Wales Government into a quality assurance tool”.

Following his 2GB interview, Grant took to Twitter to say, “Drug expert advocates for pill testing are risking lives giving a false sense of security. Drugs are illegal because they are dangerous,” but there’s already been a few negative responses to his comments:

In December 2016, illicit drug expert Dr David Caldicott told Music Feeds he was “in negotiations” with several festival promoters to bring pill testing facilities to their events, and while discussions were “going very well indeed”, Dr Caldicott noted that pill testing is unlikely to happen in NSW under the current State Government.

In September, a motion to introduce pill testing and remove sniffer dogs from Aussie music festivals passed the senate.

In December 2015, a poll of over 10,000 Music Feeds readers saw 83 per cent of respondents say they were in favour of Australian festivals introducing drug testing procedures at their events.

Listen to Troy Grant’s full 2GB interview below, from 1:11:30.

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