Groovin The Moo music festival will host its second successive pill testing trial this year after the harm reduction measure was rubber-stamped by the ACT Government.

ABC reports the Canberra leg of the touring festival is slated to host the Pill Testing Australia team again in April 28.

The trial will come one year after the nation’s first successful test run at the same event, and at the tail end of a nightmare festival summer which saw five people die after taking drugs at New South Wales music festivals.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr referenced the tragic loss of life in the surrounding state, telling the ABC “in light of the experience in other jurisdictions over the summer with some quite-serious medical issues arising, there will be some additional harm minimisation measures put in place.”

On the refusal of political leaders like NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to even consider pill testing as a viable harm reduction method, Barr added “governments have a responsibility to not only try and prevent drug use but also to support initiatives that reduce the harms associated with drug use.”

Last year’s trial at Groovin The Moo, which identified two potentially lethal substances in pills provided by punters, was hailed as a success by the ACT. 

Barr invited leaders from other jurisdictions to observe the second Canberra trial. That invite comes one week after Sydney’s councillors unanimously voted to support the creation of a harm reduction summit to assess the viability of initiatives like pill testing. 

The latest Groovin The Moo news came on the same night ABC’s Q&A hosted a panel discussion on harm minimisation, which was comprised of experts in the field and their law enforcement counterparts.

Dr David Caldicott, a Pill Testing Australia member who helped operate the first Canberra trial, told the panel “if we have a more sophisticated conversation with young people, and listen to their voices, we might get to the place of safety that we all crave far faster.”

Source: ABC
Image: Groovin The Moo