Fiona Patten MP
Leader of Reason
Member for Northern Metropolitan Region
Members Statement 30/4/19
MS PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (16:29:19): On Saturday I had the privilege to travel to Canberra to take a tour of the second pill testing facility run by Pill Testing Australia at Groovin the Moo festival. It was again overwhelmingly successful by any measure. More than 230 festival goers used the pill testing service, and seven people, after being told that their drugs contained the dangerous substance ethylpentalone, dumped their pills in amnesty bins provided. But most importantly they had a health intervention and they had health professionals talking to them about the risks of drug use at a time when these young people were about to take a drug. Gino Vumbuca and Dr David Caldicott from Pill Testing Australia said the trial achieved everything it set out to do. Mr Vumbuca said: We helped reduce drug-related harm by giving young people access to a medical service they would not have had otherwise … it’s our responsibility to do everything possible to keep our kids safe. And he is right. The simple truth is that it is just time to take practical evidence-based steps to make parties and festivals safer for young people—and pill testing does that. This is the second time this trial has been conducted at the festival and I pay tribute to ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and his government for allowing the trial to happen. In fact—and this is something the Premier and this government should know, and I suspect they do—the ACT pill testing trial did not require legislation for it to happen.