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Heartbroken father explains why pill testing won’t work

A heartbroken father who lost his son to a drug overdose has rubbished the recommendations of an inquiry into drug-related deaths at NSW music festivals.

It’s understood state coroner Harriet Grahame, who chaired the inquiry, will recommend the introduction of pill testing as well as a dramatic reduction in police operations such as body searches and sniffer dogs.

The NSW government has continuously stated it will not consider introducing pill testing at festivals.

Listener Barry, who lost his son to a drug overdose, rang in to tell Steve Price he thinks the recommendations are completely ridiculous.

“About this pill testing, it is purely cosmetic.

“It is focusing on the people who are taking the drugs at a festival. Those same people… they will go home… and they will continue to take drugs, untested.

“And they’re the ones that are dropping dead and dying at an incredible rate.”

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But Greens MP David Shoebridge tells Steve Price he thinks the recommendations are on the right track.

“Even with the largest amount of policing that we saw over the last summer… that did not stop drugs entering music festivals.

“It was almost certainly making young people less safe.

“I don’t believe just an abstinence-only approach is working.

“If the coroner’s heard all the evidence, seen the fact that is could save young people’s lives, well surely the government should follow the evidence.”

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Image: Matt Jelonek/WireImage