Stereosonic Organisers Back Calls For Pill Testing At Their Events

2 March 2016 | 11:06 am | Neil Griffiths

'It's simply about doing anything we can to help reduce risk and increase safety for our patrons.'

Organisers of annual Aussie dance festival Stereosonic have thrown their support behind on-site pill testing and have stated that they are willing to hold a pilot program at their own event.

A statement posted on the Totem Onelove website reads, "In principle pill testing would have our full support as long as all the key stakeholders sanctioned the initiative to ensure its effectiveness. We would strongly support any policies or initiatives that would minimise harm, reduce drug use and make events a safer environment for patrons.

"Unfortunately drug use is an issue effecting all Australians and is not limited to events."

Yesterday, a team of doctors from the Drug Law Reform Foundation announced they would introduce pill testing at music festivals with or without support from Premier Mike Baird and the NSW government, who have publicly dismissed the idea. 

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"There is a very safe way to go about pills and that is don't take them," Baird said on the subject. 

However, speaking to theMusic today, Stereosonic founder Richie McNeill welcomed the idea, suggesting pill testing could deter people from taking drugs. 

"It's simply about doing anything we can to help reduce risk and increase safety for our patrons," McNeill said.

"Hopefully they can identify lots of rubbish and prevent people from taking these poisons. Could it save a life? Definitely.

"If the reports are correct that Australian drugs are substituted with loads of poisons then maybe this might prevent them from being taken. That’s a win in our eyes."

The statement comes in the wake of two festival-goers who died from suspected drug overdoses at the Stereosonic events held in November. 

Appearing on ABC's Four Corners two weeks ago, Deputy Premier of New South Wales Troy Grant slammed the concept of pill testing

"What you’re proposing there is a government regime that is asking for taxpayer’s money to support a drug dealer’s business enterprise," Grant said.

"That’s not going to happen in New South Wales while I'm Minister."