In what appears to be a side step away from pill testing, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has introduced even more red tape for music festivals moving forward in NSW.
Dubbed a ‘Special Liquor License’, music festivals from March 1st this year will need to apply and be approved by a panel of selected experts, anticipated to include NSW Health, Police, Ambulance as well as Liquor and Gaming NSW, before a licence can be issued.
While the government decides how they will structure the new license, there are some temporary conditions that festivals must provide a designated area assigned with doctors, nurses and paramedics to help punters who aren’t feeling well have the help they might require and access to free water stations.
Failure of the above could lead to jail time of up to 12 months or fines up to $100,000 for those who don’t adhere to the strict guidelines.
With an added layer of paper work, are these laws designed to strangle the business viability of holding a music festival, like the lockout laws?
The regulation comes as The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, a peak body that represents 17,000 doctors wrote an open letter to state heads saying they support pill testing in Australia with their own guidelines.
They join the below authorities in health and policing;
Australian Medical Association
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA)
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Former Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Palmer
ACT Chief Health Commissioner Dr Paul Kelly
Independent MP Doctor Kerryn Phelps
NZ Police Commissioner Stuart Nash
Music event and festival organisers
UK Festival organisers