30 Nov 2023

Share this

Posted under

Media Release


The Victorian Greens, the Animal Justice Party, and Legalise Cannabis Victoria will today introduce a joint bill that would establish pill testing in the state by this time next year.

It marks the first time three parties have co-sponsored a bill in the Victorian Parliament.

The progressive parties say they hope the historic move makes it clear that protecting young people from overdose or drug-related death is above politics or party lines.

The Pill Testing Pilot for Drug Harm Reduction Bill would establish a mobile pill testing service for major music festivals, as well as a fixed-site service for more detailed analysis year round. 

Both sites would be licensed for two years with the potential for a four-year extension following a review.

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 for dangerous drugs in circulation.

And to date, four state coronial reports have recommended establishing a pill testing service.

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

“Every summer festival season we know people take drugs.

“Yet Labor continues to ignore the experts who say pill testing is the best way to keep them safe.

“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.

“When it comes to significant health reform, Victorians want to see politicians across the spectrum work together to achieve the best possible outcome.

“If Labor backs our pilot and it saves even one life next summer, it will be worth it.”

Quotes attributable to Animal Justice Party Member for Northern Victoria, Georgie Purcell MLC:

“As some of the youngest members of the Victorian Parliament, we know that people take drugs. We also know the risk of drug harm significantly increases when we head into the summer festival season. There’s an easy way to fix it.

“Growing up and experimenting should not be a death sentence. But the reality is, far too many young people are not making it home from parties or music festivals.

“The evidence is clear: pill testing saves lives. It doesn’t encourage drug use, it just simply makes it safer for those who do. And it’s time for the Victorian Government to commit to it.”

Quotes attributable to Legalise Cannabis Victoria Member for South-East Metro, Rachel Payne MLC:

“It’s a no brainer – pill testing works by allowing revellers the ability to test their drugs and make an informed choice. The ‘just say no’ approach doesn’t work. We are seeing fatalities at most major festivals that are completely preventable. 

“We have seen drug alerts for MDMA tablets reporting an alarmingly high-dose of 2 to 3 times the average dose. It is astounding to me that we have the technology here to provide analysis and drug-checking, evidence of success and harm-minimisation in other jurisdictions as well as the Coroners Court calling for drug-checking in Victoria, and yet zero commitment from the government.”

More news

Let's keep in touch. Sign up to my e-news.