Music

Gladys Berejiklian Is Still Refusing To Budge On Pill Testing, Despite More Evidence

As another expert comes out in favour of pill testing, Berejiklian will implement regulations to suffocate festivals.

Gladys Berejiklian has gutted a key environmental body

Gladys Berejiklian is back on her bullshit. The NSW Premier has doubled down on the government’s stance on pill testing at music festivals, telling the press that she “will not go down that path”, despite overwhelming evidence that pill testing works.

“It actually gives people a false sense of security, because how one person reacts to a drug is very different to another person reacting,” she told the ABC. “Unfortunately, we have seen people lose their lives by taking what is a pure substance; a pure drug. What pill testing does is pick up on irregularities — however, pill testing doesn’t protect people from the actual substance itself.”

This statement goes against recommendations by both NSW Coroner Harriet Grahame and Dr. David Caldicott, who each pushed for the implementation of pill testing and the scrapping of body searches and sniffer dogs at music festivals.

Yesterday it was revealed Grahame would recommend the implementation of pill testing at music festivals following her inquest into the deaths of six young people at music festivals last summer. Grahame’s report will also recommend that police stop using sniffer dogs and strip searches.

Caldicott has been an outspoken advocate of pill testing — he has been quoted as saying that the testing is “only controversial in the eyes of people who haven’t looked into it and read about it.”

“In the eyes of science and medicine, these moves are not at all controversial.”

Berejiklian’s comments come on a day in which the government is set to reinstate its licensing scheme for quote-unquote “high-risk” music festivals, that will require said festivals to prepare safety management plans. These festivals will also be required to pay for its license and for extra emergency services to be present.

Unsurprisingly, this also goes against recommendations — this time from the NSW Legislative Council, which disallowed the regulations after an upper-house inquiry passed down a recommendation to scrap it.

The premier then had the nerve to tell the press that “we want these music festivals to flourish” and “we want more of them.”

Thankfully, pockets of Parliament have already spoken up in opposition to Berejiklian’s stubbornness. Greens MP Cate Faehrmann has sided with Grahame’s findings across a series of Tweets:

Yesterday, Faehrmann also told The Guardian that Gladys Berejiklian “can’t hide from the evidence.”

“If the coroner hands down findings in relation to pill testing and reducing police presence, it is because that will save lives.”