21 Feb 2024

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The Victorian Greens have renewed their calls on the Victorian Labor Government to introduce pill testing, saying the evidence on pill testing has been clear for years.

Earlier today, the Upper House began debating the Greens’ historic joint bill with the Animal Justice Party and Legalise Cannabis Victoria.

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.

A recently obtained Parliamentary Budget Office costing has revealed a trial could cost as little as $3.7 million dollars, if Victoria used a similar model to the one used in Canberra.

During the debate, one Labor MP – Sonja Terpstra – even expressed her support for pill testing, saying: “I support pill testing but I am from the government so I am not going to vote for your bill”.

Victorian Greens drug harm reduction spokesperson, Aiv Puglielli, said it was clear the government was beginning to change its tune on the issue with the new Premier recently indicating she was waiting for further advice before making an announcement.

He said implementing pill testing as a matter of urgency would ensure a safer festival season for young people next summer.

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

“While the new Premier has said she’s seeking further advice on pill testing, the government ranks are fracturing on the issue. 

“We need to see true leadership and courage if we are to save young Victorians from overdose death.

“Young Victorians are heading to music festivals and taking pills laced with potentially lethal substances. Labor has the opportunity to show courage, do the right thing and back pill testing. 

“Sniffer dogs will not save lives. Tough talk from cops and politicians will not save lives. Pill testing will.”

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