Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (14:28): I would like to echo Ms Maxwell’s gratitude to all of the staff here and congratulate you, President, and the team for managing an incredibly difficult year. I think you have done it with good humour, but also you have managed to keep us all very safe this year. On behalf of I am sure my team, but I am sure on behalf of many others here we are very grateful for that.
I would also like to congratulate today the New Zealand government for legalising pill testing. In the words of the health minister Andrew Little, ‘This legislation is about keeping people safe’, and that is what pill testing is about. People are not going to stop taking potentially dangerous substances just because we say ‘Just say no’, but we can help them make wiser choices and reduce the risks of harm with the right tools. New Zealand found in their trial that up to 70 per cent were likely to take less drugs or none at all after interacting with a pill-testing service. The research is equally compelling in the ACT. Along with my colleague Dr Ratnam, we have introduced a bill here to legalise pill testing. If we are serious about public health, then we must follow New Zealand’s lead and legislate for pill testing in Victoria before a summer tragedy occurs.
Leader of Reason
Member for Northern Metropolitan
Members statement 30/11/21