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New laws will see drug dealers face jail over music festival deaths

Drug dealers will be held responsible for the deaths of anyone they have supplied pills to at music festivals under laws proposed by the NSW government.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian says dealers could be jailed for up to 25 years if people who buy off them subsequently die from taking the drugs.

The proposed changes – which would also include on-the-spot fines of up to $500 for people caught with drugs at festivals – were recommended by an expert panel set up in the wake of two music festival deaths in Sydney in September.

Ms Berejiklian believes the punishment for supplying drugs which cause a death should be 10 to 25 years in jail, meaning the offence would sit between grievous bodily harm and manslaughter.

NSW Police Minister Troy Grant tells Ben Fordham “it’s a move in the right direction to add a significant deterrent”.

As for whether music festivals will be banned across the state, the minister says while they won’t close down festivals, “if they don’t meet that standard, they will be shut down”.

“We want people to have a great time. We want people to be entertained… but they have to run them in a safe manner”.

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