The NSW Premier Refuses To Say Who Her Anti Pill-Testing Experts Are

    Pill testing has been a major discussion point in 2019.

    A spokesperson for NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has told BuzzFeed News the premier's office will not comment on the experts she has spoken to who are against the implementation of pill testing.

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    On Monday, Berejiklian appeared on The Today Show and said she had received conflicting evidence both in support of and against pill testing.

    "For every expert who advises us to look at pill testing there's another few that say 'don't', and we rely on the advice of a number of people across the network," she said.

    NSW Premier @GladysB on the Today Show this morning talking pill testing: “For every expert who advises us to look at pull testing there’s another few that say “don’t” and we rely on the advice of a number of people across the network.”

    Last year, the premier created an expert panel to figure out how to make music festivals safer, but struck out any possibility of pill testing being implementing regardless of the panel's findings.

    The issue of pill testing and the possibility of a legal trial has been a major discussion point in 2019 as the public and major health bodies rally around the harm reduction method.

    Currently, the only Australian state or territory to successfully implement a testing event was Canberra, at the Groovin' the Moo festival in 2018.

    On Wednesday, a Guardian / Essential poll found 63% of voters support pill testing when it involves trained counsellors and an on-site lab.

    On Friday morning the Royal Australasian College of Physicians joined a growing group of the country's peak health bodies in calling for pill testing trials.

    The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Public Health Association of Australia, the Australian Medical Association, Greens leader Richard Di Natale, former Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Palmer, NSW Nurses and Midwives Association, the Ted Noffs Foundation, and the ACT government have supported the pill testing method.

    Five young people died in the last four months of 2018 after taking drugs at music festivals in NSW.


    Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.

    Contact Brad Esposito at bradley.esposito@buzzfeed.com.

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