NSW Premier Ends Music Festival Overdose Tragedies With Stern ‘Drugs Are Bad Mmmkay’ Speech

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Drug overdoses will no longer be a problem at youth music festivals in NSW after a dramatic intervention by Premier Gladys Berejiklian overnight, following the deaths of two people at a Sydney music festival, and the hospitalisation of at least three more.

NSW police report that during the Defqon.1 music festival in western Sydney over the weekend – attended by around 30,000 people – as many as 700 festival goers also sought medical assistance.

A 21-year-old Victorian woman and a 23-year-old man from Edensor Park collapsed during the evening. They were airlifted to nearby Nepean Hospital, but died soon after.

“I’m absolutely aghast at what’s occurred, I don’t want any family to go through the tragedy that some families are waking up to this morning, it’s just horrible to think about,” Ms Berejiklian told media on Sunday.

The Premier also said she would shut the festival down, thereby further eliminating the potential for drug overdoses amoung youth.

Ms Berejiklian said her government would not bow to pressure to introduce pill testing – where festival goers can test party drugs without fear of police sanction – after a landmark trial in Canberra earlier this year at the Groovin The Moo festival saw zero deaths.

That trial saw 128 participants. A total of eighty-five samples were tested by the STA-Safe Consortium, two of which were found to be deadly.

Ms Berejiklian said the government will not consider introducing pill testing, as it has a “zero tolerance” to drugs.

“Anyone who advocates pill testing is giving the green light to drugs, that is absolutely unacceptable, there is no such thing as a safe drug,” she said.

“I want to send a strong message to every young person…. You should not take drugs at these events or anywhere else, and last night’s tragic consequences demonstrated this.”

Ms Berejiklian’s zero tolerance stance is based on the tried and tested reality that if she tells young people not to do something, they will listen to her.

In other news scientists have confirmed that the Liberal Party of Australia is now so out of touch with community sentiment that it has actually travelled full circle, and is back in touch and just waiting for the rest of us to catch up.

Conversely, scientists have also confirmed that millennials are now actively waiting for enough old politicians to die off so that the community is dominated by people who actually care about their welfare, before seizing power and changing drug laws to reduce future deaths.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. Chris has won a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards for his reporting. He lives in Brisbane and splits his time between Stradbroke Island, where New Matilda is based, and the mainland.

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