After Two deaths On New Year’s Eve Weekend in Australia The Debate On Pill Testing Begins

After the passing of two young adults in attendance at separate New Year’s Eve weekend music festivals the debate of pill testing has reignited in Australia. The first was a 20-year-old man who attended Beyond The Valley and the second victim was a 22-year old man who went to Lost Paradise, both passed away after ingesting an “unknown substance,” according to the police.

The topic of pill testing has been open to much debate in Australian government. Lead by NSW premier and state liberal leader, Gladys Berejiklian, Australia’s government is strongly opposed to pill testing with the belief that pill testing promotes drug use.

“The government position is quite clear on pill testing,” NSW Planning Minister, Anthony Roberts, told reporters in Sydney following the recent festival deaths. “We oppose the use of illegal drugs at these festivals,” Roberts said.

This isn’t the first time a death at a music festival sparks a debate, calls for government supported pill testing shortly followed after two deaths by suspected overdoses occurred at Defqon.1 in 2018. Berejiklian established a “high level expert panel” right after the deaths with the goals of educating festival goers on safety. Unfortunately the panel did not include pill testing.

“Advice from Victoria Police tells us it can give people a false and potentially fatal sense of security about illicit drugs,” a Victorian government spokesperson stated. “If there was a way in which we could ensure that lives were saved through pill testing we would consider it — but there is no evidence provided to the government on that,” Berejiklian told reporters on January 2.

We will see how this plays out.