Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore Calls On NSW Labor Government To Introduce Pill Testing
As the festival season kicks off, City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has called on the NSW Labor Government to introduce pill testing and set a date for its proposed Drug Summit.
‘This Summer, Hundreds Of Thousands Of Young People Will Attend Festivals…’
In a post to Instagram, Moore wrote, “This summer, hundreds of thousands of young people will attend festivals for the music, atmosphere and opportunity to socialise. Yes, some at these events will use drugs.
“They do so despite politicians and others delivering simplistic and ineffective messages of ‘don’t take illicit substances’, the intimidating use of sniffer dogs and the threat of invasive and frequently illegal strip searches.
“With this comes the risk of young people experiencing serious medical episodes, which in some cases, may result in young people dying.”
Moore continued, “We should see the introduction of medically supervised pill testing/drug checking at NSW music festivals,” as well as the “redirection of policing efforts” towards a harm-reduction approach when dealing with drugs.
‘Help People Stay Alive’
Bringing up the NSW Government’s proposed Drug Summit, which has yet to have a set date, Moore called on Premier Chris Minns to “set a date for the proposed Drug Summit to provide a valuable forum for evidence to be presented, considered and discussed and enable informed decisions to be made and worthwhile outcomes to be achieved.
“While some may aim for the unrealistic ideal of a completely drug-free world, a Drug Summit should aim to help people stay alive in this one.”
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The post to social media followed a resolution introduced at the November 20 City of Sydney council meeting.
The resolution called for a time and date to be set for the proposed Drug Summit, which would include Members of Parliament, medical experts, community representatives, and people with experience of drug use.
According to the resolution, the Drug Summit must also have, as its goal, “the development of recommendations for action that would reduce the risk of drug-related deaths and will contribute to reducing and ending the harm from illicit drug use, including drug checking/pill testing and the reform of the policing of drug use.”
NSW Government: We Will Announce A Date In Due Course
In a response to Star Observer, a NSW Government spokesperson said, “We have committed to having the summit next year, we will announce a date in due course but we are determined to get it right.
The continued, “The Minns Labor Government’s drug summit will bring together health and addiction experts as well as frontline workers and police, and it will provide an evidence-based framework on drug reform.”
‘Delaying Drug Checking Will Put Lives At Risk’
In October, a coalition of peak medical bodies sent an open letter to Premier Minns to “immediately start drug checking with an implementation pilot this summer festival season.”
The open letter was signed by Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation, the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association and the Health Services Union.
The letter read, “This summer is forecast to be a hot one, and we know that high temperatures combined with unexpectedly high doses of MDMA is a dangerous combination that can be fatal. Without drug checking, there’s no way to identify high-risk drug samples before people consume them. Delaying drug checking will put lives at risk.
“We are calling on the government to immediately start drug checking with an implementation pilot this summer festival season. The evidence shows that drug checking can help keep people safe. An evaluated pilot program will also provide vital information for further discussion at the NSW Drug Summit next year.”