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Pill testing controversy continues: Ultra Festival makes bid for trial in Sydney

International EDM Festival Ultra has reached out to the NSW government, requesting permission to conduct a pill testing trial at their Sydney event next month.

In a statement released by the NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA) – the organisation running drug safety initiative DanceWize NSW – it was revealed that Ultra Festival had reached out, requesting support for the pill testing trial.

“Our organisations stand ready to support this badly needed harm reduction intervention at the earliest possible opportunity,” the statement read. Both the NUAA and Ultra Festival then reached out to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, requesting the trial be allowed to take place.

The Sydney leg of Ultra, taking place at Parramatta Park on February 24th, would be the second ever in Australia to conduct pill testing if their bid is approved.

The NSW government is feeling the pressure following the fifth festival death in six months. An undeniable amount of Aussies, and even old mate David Koch have been calling for the introduction of pill testing at festivals in a bid to minimise harm.

“We know pill testing works from the successful Australian trial and years of overseas experience,” said Mary Ellen Harrod, CEO of NUAA. “There is almost universal agreement that we need to do more to keep young people safe and the Ultra festival is the perfect opportunity to launch a trial of this measure in NSW.”

As of yet, the premier is yet to respond to the request, but if this does go through it will potentially be a great step towards safer festivals.

If you’re looking for a way to get involved, you can sign the petition going around, or donate to Harm Reduction Australia here.

Via Junkee

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January 17, 2019

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