15 Nov 2023

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The Greens have urged the Victorian Labor Government to take up an offer being made by public health experts to establish a free pill testing trial at a festival this summer.

The offer has been made by Harm Reduction Australia and Pill Testing Australia with the support of numerous public health bodies and unions, and would see a trial set up similar to the one currently being piloted in the ACT.

The Greens say a trial like this would save lives, by empowering young people planning to take drugs at the festival to first discuss it with a qualified health professional.

Last month a coalition of 77 peak bodies, unions and health services signed an open letter calling on the state government to implement pill testing and a public early warning system.

And four state coronial reports have now recommended establishing a pill testing service.

Victorian Greens drug harm reduction spokesperson, Aiv Puglielli, said Labor was fast running out of excuses to reject the growing number of calls for pill testing.

He said the experts had been clear for years, and now with the offer of a free trial pill testing service this summer, it was time for the state government to act.

Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens drug harm reduction spokesperson, Aiv Puglielli MLC:

“Labor is fast running out of excuses to delay action on pill testing.

“The evidence is clear that when young people have access to pill testing services they’re much less likely to take drugs, or be at risk of overdose.

“Each day this government refuses to listen to expert health advice and back pill testing is another day a young person could be at risk of overdose or drug-related death.

“The summer festival season is around the corner, and we know people will be taking drugs.

“It’s time for this government to get its head out of the sand and accept this offer for a free trial.”

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