Fair Play volunteers will return at Mardi Gras for the program’s sixth year, raising awareness and providing support to partygoers around this year’s festival.

A joint initiative of the Inner City Legal Centre, New South Wales’ LGBTIQ legal centre, in partnership with ACON and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Fair Play helps attendees understand their legal rights and party safe.

 “The key to Fair Play’s ongoing success is our volunteers, who are on site at the Mardi Gras Party to share legal and safety information with party goers, and to support people who interact with police.

“Our volunteers work closely with NSW Police to ensure that party-goers are respected by police and to keep misunderstandings and negative interactions with police to a minimum,” said Vicki Harding, Director of Inner City Legal Centre. 

One focus of Fair Play this year is recent changes to NSW drug laws.

“It is also important for partygoers to be aware that if they are found to be in possession of prohibited drugs, they may not be able to enter the Mardi Gras party venues,” the ICLC said in a statement.

Fair Play volunteers will be available to all partygoers for any questions they may have prior to the Mardi Gras Party. Look out for the white t-shirts with the Fair Play logo on them (pictured above).

Hilary Kincaid, Principal Solicitor at the ICLC, reminds both international visitors and locals that “all prohibited drugs are equally prohibited, there is no ‘safe’ amount and there is no risk-free way to possess prohibited drugs.”

“Fair Play is a critical initiative that provides the Inner City Legal Centre, Mardi Gras and ACON with a vital opportunity to educate the communities we serve on a range of issues including legal rights and responsibilities, health and safety and wellbeing,” ACON CEO Nic Parkhill added.

“We commend the NSW Police’s efforts in seeing that this program can operate successfully; which has in the past resulted in a decline in the number of issues involving police during the Mardi Gras period.

“This is foremost a community-led response that seeks to keep party-goers informed and safe, and we’re proud to be a part of this great initiative.”

An 18-year-old in Queensland was recently fined for possessing amyl at a music festival, and debate over pill testing at music festivals has raged over the past year with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian dismissing calls for pill testing to be made available in NSW.

Fair Play has published a fact sheet reflecting current NSW legislation outlining penalties and clarifying myths and realities around drug possession and use under drug laws, which can be accessed here: bit.ly/2TRD2fm

For more information about Fair Play, visit fair-play.org.au.

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