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Members Statement: Pill Testing

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) : I rise to speak in support of a pill testing scheme to be implemented here in Victoria. Yet more experts have come out in support of pill testing. The New South Wales coroner, Ambulance Victoria and Melbourne City Council, who host a number of festivals and events in their municipality, have come out in support and joined the City of Port Phillip in support of pill testing. So, as the summer festival season arrives, I again implore the state government to act. The Premier’s stubborn refusal to consider even the smaller proposal by Ambulance Victoria—where alerts would be put out on social media and other means alerting festival goers to the contents of severely dangerous drugs that the police have seized, which I believe actually occurs in other states already—is really getting absurd. The reality is that people are already taking recreational drugs. Pill testing schemes have demonstrated that if people are given the information about what is in their drugs and if there are highly dangerous substances they will not take them. The Premier’s suggestion that this is somehow the reverse is simply wrong, and the Leader of the Opposition should know that often having sniffer dogs actually results in people taking more drugs at the one time, which is of a higher risk. So my message for those who are opposed to it is: get over yourselves—it is time to act, reduce harm and save lives.