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Pill testing approved for Canberra's Spilt Milk music festival

In a huge first for Australia.

Canberra's premier music festival, Spilt Milk, will welcome the likes of Lorde, Vance Joy and Alison Wonderland to its Commonwealth Park residence in November but that's not the only thing it'll be greeting.
 
For the first time in Australia, pill testing has been passed through the ACT government after months of negotiations between the state body, Safety Testing Advisory Service at Festivals and the Events (STA-SAFE) consortium.
 
Speaking to triple j's Hack, ACT minister for Health and Wellbeing, Meegan Fitzharris, validated the long decision-making process as a crucial resolution to keep young people safe.
 
"The ACT Government has carefully assessed the proposal from STA-Safe and will allow pill testing at Spilt Milk," Minister Fitzharris says.
 
"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."
 
The free service will be provided by Harm Reduction Australia and punters can be rest assured that their anonymity will be respected.
 
While the logistics of the pill testing service are still being arranged, the process could look like this:
 
"There will be a short survey taken about what drugs people think they’re taking. And then there will be a very small scraping of the pill they’ll provide for testing and analysis. That normally takes about 10 to 15 minutes,” President of Harm Reduction Australia, Gino Vumbaca told Hack.
 
"People will be able to find out, if they’re going to take a particular substance, what it is they’re actually taking, compared to what they think they’re taking.
 
"The composition of the substance will be analysed. It will give quite a detailed analysis of the content of that drug and the levels of the different chemicals in that drug. From there, we’ll have people there who will be able to provide feedback about what those particular chemicals are and what may be expected as a result."
 
Volunteers working at Spilt Milk will then provide education to the interest punters and if they decide not to take their drugs, amnesty bins will be available.

For more information on how pill testing will actually work, head here.