Ahead of the news that Day One of Splendour In The Grass 2022 is cancelled, a photo of passengers being asked to drop their bags for sniffer dogs at Gold Coast airport has been posted to Twitter.
“Never seen this before. Off the plane in GC for Splendour and police making everyone drop their bags for dogs,” the Tweet by Zara Seidler read. In the image, passengers can be seen lined up with their bags in front of them and AFP officers standing in front of them.
— Zara Seidler (@zaraseidler1) July 22, 2022
Multiple commenters have chimed in to say that this search isn’t isolated to Splendour timings and that they’ve experienced this when flying in the past. I’ve experienced it coming back from an international flight and other Twitter users from Tasmania have mentioned it’s commonplace at their airport — albeit for fruit.
Sniffer dogs are standard at a lot of airports.
— Zap (@zap_lock) July 22, 2022
I see dogs virtually every time I go to the airport. I’ve been stopped by one for having orange peel in my bag (we can’t bring fruit into my state).
— Blue Tick Sceptic (@ScepticalAussie) July 22, 2022
I’ve seen it Sydney and Hobart.
— Bejo (@bejopil) July 22, 2022
Once when returning from Asia to Melbourne I had to walk along a painted line while drug sniffer dogs sniffed my ass.
— machen lockley (@LockleyMachen) July 22, 2022
Last month arriving on a flight from Melb into GC the dogs and AFP moved people away from the luggage collect area and let the dog check out all items on the conveyor belt. No niceties or explanations….just rudely shunted everyone out of the way.
— Madmanacrossthewater (@Madmanacrossth1) July 22, 2022
Obviously the timing of the event is enough to make anyone think about the true reasoning behind the sniffer dogs’ presence. Twitter user @RinaFerris also commented: “I didn’t see any on arrival but they were there at the airport on the Monday morning as people left.” A similar situation happened back during Splendour In The Grass 2014 when a Jetstar crew member warned passengers returning from the festival of sniffer dogs waiting at Sydney airport.
Some Twitter users seem to think that the police may have been tipped off that one of the passengers was carrying something illegal.
maybe they have a tip off
— Ewart, Dave🇦🇺 (@davidbewart) July 22, 2022
Elsewhere throughout the comments section, there is general distaste for the “overpolicing” of drugs at music festivals. For the sake of reporting news accurately, I should also mention that some comments were in favour of the police’s presence for the festivalgoers.
Just fucking wow
Australia needs a new progressive drug policy and to focus police resources where they are actually needed https://t.co/GPxdK4RuVx
— Jodie Brilliant (@JodieBrilliant) July 22, 2022
Really showing how to win over international tourists and bolster our reputation as a place to visit. This is embarrassing. https://t.co/rylr5ihewR
— Joseph O’Donoghue (@josephodonoghue) July 22, 2022
Spoiler alert: everyone who wants to do drugs at Splendour will do drugs at Splendour.
Sad to see Australia continue to push a draconian, utterly futile and harmful ‘war on drugs’. https://t.co/rKvxeo5JmG
— Kayla Greenstien (@Kgreenstien) July 22, 2022
Obviously our drug laws have been a huge area of concern for decades now and comparisons are consistently drawn from other countries to show how Australia could be doing better in this space. As Twitter user Jospeh O’Donoghue put it: “This is embarrassing.”