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Pill Tests Will Kick Off At Canberra Festival In Aussie-First

Hailed a landmark initiative

Pill Tests Will Kick Off At Canberra Festival In Aussie-First Image: Spilt Milk Festival/Facebook

Punters headed to the Spilt Milk music festival in Canberra in November will be able to access free pill testing thanks to the ACT Government.

While ACT Minister for Health and Wellbeing Meegan Fitzharris said the government did not endorse drug use but the service nonetheless would help keep young people safe, the ABC reports.

"The ACT Government has carefully assessed the proposal from STA-Safe and will allow pill testing at Spilt Milk," Minister Fitzharris said.

"Pill testing means young people who are considering taking drugs can be informed about what’s really in their pills and how potent they are. And it creates an opportunity to remind them of the risks before they make the final decision to take a drug.

“There is no evidence that having pill testing available results in increased illicit drug taking."

The anonymous and free pill testing program will be managed by Harm Reduction Australia, with president Gino Vumbaca has praised the “progressive” decision of the ACT Government to back the initiative.

"We’re talking about safe drug use. We want people to be as safe as they can be when they’re using drugs, and that means knowing what they’re actually using,” he told Hack.

"One thing that we’ve made very clear is that we won’t be telling people that it’s safe to use a particular drug. There are harms associated with any drug use. What we're trying to do is make it safer.

“It won’t be promoting drug use, but it won’t be condemning drug use either. It will be a non-judgmental approach."

Tickets for Spilt Milk 2017 are completely sold out, with the event set for November 25 in Commonwealth Park.