Premier «convinced» inquiry will find no evidence to support pill testing

«Of course I’ll read it [the inquiry’s recommendations] if they put it up, but I’m not convinced they [the panel] will find evidence because there’s no sufficient evidence anywhere.»

The Premier established the inquiry last year to investigate the drug ice, but agreed in February to expand its scope to cover other «other illicit amphetamine type stimulants» following a request by Mr Howard.

It emerged last week that, in line with this broadened remit, the inquiry would also examine the merits of pill testing for substances such as ecstasy and MDMA.

Ms Berejiklian said she would wait for the report’s findings before making any decisions, but added: «I don’t think it works. I don’t think the evidence is there. I don’t support it.»

The panel includes experts across health, drug addiction and harm minimisation, and law enforcement, including former NSW Police chief Andrew Scippione, former Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery, and Director National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre Professor Michael Farrell.

The Premier has faced mounting calls to consider trialling pill testing after a spate of suspected overdose deaths at NSW music festivals.

The inquiry will overlap with a NSW coronial inquest into seven such deaths at recent music festivals, which is scheduled to be held over two weeks in July.

Ms Berejiklian’s position is at odds with a number of leading Australian clinicians and doctor’s organisations calling for pill testing trials, including the Australian Medical Association, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, and Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

Former Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Palmer has also backed a trial.

It comes as a pill testing trial at the Groove in the Moo festival in Canberra over the weekend was hailed a success by the trial’s organisers.

Pill Testing Australia, which carried out the trial with the support of the ACT government, said that seven of the171 samples tested were found to contain potentially dangerous substances and were subsequently dumped into amnesty bins by festival goers.




You may also like...