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Pill testing debate reignited following latest festival death

Michael McLaren

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is again ruling out pill testing, following the death of a 19-year-old man at a Sydney music festival.

Callum Brosnan from Baulkham Hills died after taking drugs at the Knockout Games of Destinyfestival at Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday.

Three others ended up in induced comas after suspected overdoses while another 130 people sought medical treatment at the venue.

The most recent tragedy comes just three months after two people died from drug overdoses at Sydney’s Defqon 1 music festival.

President and Co-founder of Harm Reduction Australia Gino Vumbaca tells Michael McLaren we need to be realistic about drug-taking at festivals and pill testing helps reduce risk.

He says the current zero tolerance approach “just doesn’t work”.

“The message at the moment is: ‘Don’t take drugs’.

“That’s the only thing we’re going to do? That’s the only strategy we have in place? Well, that’s not going to work.

“People take risks, what we’re trying to do is mitigate it.”

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