Port Phillip Council renews pill testing trial call

With the music festival season about to start, the City of Port Phillip is renewing its call to be home to Victoria’s first pill testing trial.

“In 2017, our Council asked the Victorian Government to immediately legislate to allow and fund pilot pill testing facilities at ‘consenting clubs, festivals and dance parties in Port Phillip to minimise the harms associated with illicit drugs’,” Mayor Dick Gross said today.

“As the 2019 music festival season kicks off this week, however, Victoria has still not had the opportunity to gain valuable harm minimisation data from a pill testing trial,” he said.

Cr Gross praised the Victorian Government for supporting harm minimisation through the North Richmond medically supervised injecting room trial and diversion programs for illicit substance users.

“We congratulate them for taking these brave actions and believe a pill testing trial is the next logical step.”

Speaking at a media conference held in St Kilda by the Reason Party on this issue, Cr Gross said Council did not condone illicit drug use.

“We know, however, that some young people will take pills. The very sort of information that testing would provide can be used to educate them about the potential dangers and allow early warnings about lethal batches,” he said.

“As the foreshore musical festival season is about to kick off, let us maximise the protection and education that pill testing can potentially provide.”

The 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey found 28 per cent of people aged 20 to 29 had used illicit drugs in the past year, compared to 16 per cent of the general population.

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