Is Pill Testing About To Be 'Permanent' In Victoria?

25 June 2024 | 11:19 am | Mary Varvaris

“This is a simple and commonsense way to save lives. That’s why we’re going to trial it in Victoria this summer.”

Pitch Music & Arts Festival

Pitch Music & Arts Festival (Supplied)

After promising that Victoria would offer a pill testing trial this summer, Premier Jacinta Allan shared an official statement on the matter.

Posting on X (formerly known as Twitter) today, Allan wrote, “Pill testing is about keeping young people safe. And saving lives.

“We’re trialling pill testing in Victoria this summer. No drug will ever truly be safe. But this will mean festival-goers can get their pills checked - and make an informed decision based on the facts.”

Today’s statement follows a video Allan posted on social media last night (24 June), in which she said:

“As parents, my husband and I are always thinking about our kids, growing up and making their own decisions. In a few years, they’ll be heading off to parties and music festivals… and like all parents, I often catch myself thinking, what if the worst happens? What if one of them doesn’t make it home?”

Adding that her greatest fear of one of her kids not making it home is a reality parents have faced, Allan continued, “Our paramedics have responded to more overdoses at festivals in the first three months of this year than during all of last year.”

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The pill testing trial in Victoria aims to provide “honest, open” discussions about what a pill handed to a young person at a festival will do to their body, free of judgment, so they can make their own decisions and reduce harm with information.

“It [Pill testing] doesn’t make pills legal, but it does keep people safe. It exists around the world, and the evidence says it works,” Allan said.

“This is a simple and commonsense way to save lives. That’s why we’re going to trial it in Victoria this summer.”

Allan said she’d reveal more information about the trial this week.

Taking to X today (25 June), ABC journalist Richard Willingham noted that pill testing will become “permanent” in Victoria, with the trial testing which model will work best.

Willingham also said there’ll be a fixed-site service in inner Melbourne from mid-2025.

In April, Queensland’s Rabbits Eat Lettuce festival organiser Eric Lamir said the use of pill testing at this year’s event resulted in “potentially lives saved, straight up.”