New South Wales Opposition Leader Michael Daley has said that the state Labor party would consider the possibility of testing recreational drugs at music festivals, after the death of 22-year-old Josh Tam following Lost Paradise this week.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Daley said that “pill testing should not be off the table”, adding that the current government’s hard-line approach is not working. “Just say no is not the answer,” he said, adding that the party will convent a “drug summit” ahead of the state election in March.
He said that he will seek the opinions of experts in the area, adding:
“I don’t just want to hear from police – I want to hear from parents and children, from the clinicians, the ambos, the people who keep these children safe and we will look at all options. You can’t hold a drug summit – say that you will listen to the experts and close the door on some possible solutions.”
NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts again ruled out the possibility of pill testing when speaking to media yesterday, saying: “The government position is quite clear … We oppose the use of illegal drugs at these festivals. We appeal to you – just enjoy the festival and do it without taking drugs.”
Premier Gladys Berejikilan said:
“There is no such thing as a safe illegal drug and I urge everyone who is attending a festival to stay safe and think carefully about the decisions they make around drugs … I am devastated to hear another life has been lost at a music festival. I extend my deepest sympathies to the young man’s family and friends.”
Rugby player Josh Tam, from Toowong in Brisbane, has been named as the victim of a suspected overdose following the Lost Paradise festival.
He attended the event with a group of around 20 friends, but was rushed to Gosford Hospital on the second night after ingesting an unknown substance, and died a short time later.
Friends and family have paid tribute to the 22-year-old on social media, with one writing: “Get around the boys and look after each other. Love ya. RIP Josh.”