As the Australian music industry and NSW Government are bubbling with discussions about pill testing, the government body known as the National Capital Authority (NCA) has prohibited such testing from happening at this year’s Spilt Milk festival in Canberra. However, the ACT Justice Minister says the territory could still explore the possibility of having a pill testing facility for punters outside of the festival grounds.
Fairfax Media reports that the NCA has said “there is no legal framework currently in place and the Commonwealth will not facilitate measures to enable pill testing to take place on Commonwealth land”.
However, in one hell of a twist, ACT Greens Leader and Justice Minister Shane Rattenbury has entertained the possibility of setting up a pill testing facility just outside the actual grounds of Spilt Milk.
Rattenbury said that they “could certainly allow it to take place on ACT Government land somewhere nearby”, as the ABC reports.
“It could be at the bus interchange because a lot of people come through there.”
Rattenbury did say, however, that this approach would likely be less effective than hosting the testing inside the actual festival.
Of course, there was an entire fiasco with pill testing at Spilt Milk last year, with it being announced that a free testing service would be available for punters, only for it to be cancelled shortly before the festival.
The debate surrounding pill testing has heated up this past week, after two people died at Sydney’s Defqon.1 over the weekend, from suspected drug overdoses.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has vowed to shut the festival down for good, and has been adamant that pill testing is a “green light” for drug taking.
However, the father of a man who died of a fatal drug overdose at Defqon.1 three years ago has said that shutting down the festival won’t fix the problem.
An Australian-first pill testing trial took place at the Canberra leg of Groovin The Moo back in April, and a $100,000 fundraiser has since been launched to help support the roll out of pill testing programs at more Australian music festivals.
Spilt Milk 2018 is happening this November, and will be headlined by Childish Gambino.