Music

The NSW Government Won’t Test Your Pills, But They’ll Now Give You A Bin To Chuck Them In

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced the roll-out of, uh, bins.

Gladys Berejiklian -- amnesty bins

Over the last few years, the NSW Government has faced mounting pressure concerning the need to roll-out drug-testing at music festivals.

Punters keep dying from dangerous pills, but the government — led by Gladys Berejiklian — refuse to respond to the issue appropriately, arguing that any form of pill-testing will create the false belief that taking drugs can ever be entirely safe.

That’s despite the fact that experts from around the world have repeatedly told Berejiklian that her argument flies in the face of the actual statistics on the issue. It’s been clear for years that pill-testing is the most safe way to avoid drug deaths, and yet Berejiklian has tried everything but.

To that end, today, Berejiklian and her government have announced that their latest measure to avoid drug-deaths is, uh, bins.

Yep. Bins.

Berejiklian has announced the roll-out of “amnesty bins”, safe places for punters to discard their drugs before entering a festival. “Amnesty bins provide a quick and easy way for music festivalgoers to discard their drugs — no questions asked,” Berejiklian said in a press conference this morning.

The decision has already received some blowback online, particularly from those who were expecting the Premier to announce pill-testing, rather than some bins.

That said, the response hasn’t been all negative, with some seeing the bins as a step away from the government’s Draconian approach to drug-taking. Bins take some of the unhelpful stigma away from drug-taking at festivals — and it’s for that reason that independent MP Alex Greenwich reckons they’re a start of something major.

“Amnesty bins are a good step towards minimising the harm of drug use at music festivals,” Greenwich said in a statement. “Allowing people to discard their drugs without the threat of consequences is far better than intimidating them into digesting large quantities through strong police and sniffer dog presence.”

We’ll see if this really is a change from the status quo — or if it’s just a brief diversion from it.