HomePill testing bill meets tough opposition in NSW parliament

Pill testing bill meets tough opposition in NSW parliament

A woman whose teen daughter died after taking drugs at a music festival has made an impassioned fresh plea to NSW politicians.

The mother of a 19-year-old woman who died after taking ecstasy at a Sydney music festival says pill testing could have saved her life.

But laws that would allow expert pill testers to apply for a government licence are doomed to fail.

Greens MP Cate Faehrmann – who has admitted to taking MDMA in the past – introduced the legislation to NSW Parliament on Wednesday.

“When people have more information about potentially harmful substances, they’re more likely to engage in less risky behaviour,” Ms Faehrmann said.

“Importantly, pill testing services have also been used to alert the public to potentially deadly substances in circulation.”

But the government and opposition both said they would reject the bill.

Jennie Ross-King, whose 19-year-old daughter Alex died after taking MDMA at the FOMO Festival at Parramatta in January 2019, said politicians should consider allowing pill testing.

She said the laws would give people thinking about doing drugs access to credible information about the substances from experts.

“I lost Alex, but had this been in place, quote possible it may have saved her life,” Ms Ross-King told NCA NewsWire.

“What would it mean to other families, to other young people? It would mean, possibly, they wouldn’t be in the position I’m in now.”

Ms Ross-King contacted NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet to make her case.

Mr Perrottet‘s predecessor Gladys Berejiklian was a fierce opponent of pill testing, even though a coronial inquest recommended implementing the practice.

Liberal MP Scott Farlow said the government would oppose the bill because testing pills would give prospective users the false impression the drugs are safe.

“There is no safe level of illicit drug consumption,” Mr Farlow told parliament.

“There is a real danger the pill testing will provide a false sense of security that doesn’t reflect the complexity of the situation.”

Labor MP John Graham said the opposition would vote against it because the bill went “too far”.

He said the opposition supported a limited trial of pill testing at festivals but not a broader licensing regime.

“It just goes beyond where the opposition is, as we move to tackle these issues,” Mr Graham said.

Read related topics:Sydney


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