The release of a list of 14 festivals which the NSW Premier has deemed as ‘high risk’ and subject to new festival licensing rules should be used as sites to trial pill testing, said Greens MP and Arts and Creative Industries spokesperson Cate Faehrmann.
“Instead of targeting a particular type of music festival in an attempt to shut them down by stealth, the Premier should work with them to introduce pill testing and other harm reduction measures,” said Ms Faehrmann.
“The Premier is targeting festivals that a huge number of young people like to go to in her ongoing war against live music and fun.
“We still haven’t seen what the new licensing rules will entail but they will be onerous. They will be over-the-top. They will be expensive and may still drive many of these bigger festivals interstate or force them to shut down altogether.
“These are festivals that bring dollars into regional economies, they provide hundreds of jobs and they allow homegrown talent to perform in front of tens of thousands of fans.
“Some of the festivals that the Premier is targeting make incredibly important contributions to local economies, like This That in Newcastle, and Lost Paradise in Glenworth Valley.
“Instead of imposing onerous rules on these 14 festivals in an attempt to shut them down, the Premier should pull her head out of the sand and work with them to introduce harm reduction measures. That means pill testing, amnesty bins and getting rid of sniffer dogs for starters,” said Ms Faehrmann.
Contact: Ben Cronly 0487 247 960