Question without notice: Pill Testing

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — My question is to Minister for Mental Health. Before Christmas the Greens asked the Premier about pill testing and reporting, which the Premier declined to support. Since then, over one weekend there were a number of hospitalisations as result of people taking recreational drugs, some in nightclubs in the Prahran electorate. Three people died. There was a drug-related death at the Rainbow Serpent music festival, and just this weekend there were over 20 hospitalisations at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Minister, in light of these deaths and hospitalisations and the risk of further incidents, will the government now implement a pill-testing and reporting regime in Victoria to reduce harm and help prevent deaths?

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — On a supplementary question, in regard to the deaths that occurred over the weekend of 14 January, the drugs in question were seized by police, they were tested by the police and information was distributed internally that these drugs were being sold as MDMA but actually contained a much more dangerous substance. Why was this information — potentially life-saving information — not made public and not released to the public at large, and will the government ensure that such information is released in the future?

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