19 February 2019
Wollongong Council last night unanimously called on the state government to repeal its regulatory burden and draconian policing on music festivals, but Greens councillor Cath Blakey called on council to do more to keep festival goers safe from the risk of overdoses. Council should also support pull testing at Festivals.
Greens Clr Cath Blakey said:
"I am gl;ad that Wollongong Council agreed to call on the state government to end the draconian policing of music festivals. But the Council motion failed to get to the crux of the issue - how to keep festival goers safe from the risk of drug overdoses. Over the last 5 months, 6 people have died. Prohibition has failed. Sniffer dogs have failed. Representatives of the music industry have clearly stated that more red tape isn't the answer. We know what works - it has been used in Europe since the 90s, and was a big success in the ACT last year. It is pill testing and we need to start a trial here in NSW.
"Pill testing will save more lives than heavy policing, and will cost the festival organisers about a third of the estimated cost of the new festival regulations".
Greens candidate for Wollongong, Benjamin Arcioni said:
"The failed war on drugs is killing people while politicians and police have wilfully ignored the mounting evidence that zero-tolerance abstinence does not work.
"How many more people need to die before they get the message? Pill testing saves lives.
" That is why I will travel up to Sydney on Thursday21 February -- to take the message to the Premier that the over policing of festivals is killing people.”
Media contact for Illawarra Greens: Mithra Cox 0425 351 844