A bill introducing a two-year pill testing trial in Victoria will be tabled tomorrow.
For the first time in the 163-year history of the Victorian Parliament, two parties - the Victorian Greens and the Reason Party - will unite to co-sponsor a bill in a single house.
The bill seeks to establish a mobile pill testing service for major music festivals across the state, as well as "a fixed-site service for more detailed analysis year around".
“For the first time in the Victorian Parliament’s upper house we have parties uniting to bring forth law reform together,” Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam said.
“The Greens and the Reason Party are working as a unified front to see the establishment of a pill testing pilot in Victoria.
“When it comes to significant health reform, we know Victorians want to see politicians across the spectrum work together to achieve the best possible outcome.
“If the Government backs our pilot and it saves even one life next summer, it will be worth it.”
Reason Party Leader Fiona Patten added, "This isn’t about politics, young people have been dying. We know this measure will not only save lives but actually reduce drug use by promoting some of the most valuable drug education a young person can get.
"It’s backed up by evidence so why on earth wouldn’t we do this?”
The news comes after the Greens found that the operating and staffing costs for pill testing services would cost $1.3 million, while the testing equipment and establishment of the sites would equate to $1.2 million.
Meanwhile, the Victorian ambulance union has today put forward a proposal which would notify punters attending music festivals if a bad batch of drugs were being circulated an event.
As ABC reports, the union's general secretary, Danny Hill, called the proposal "a sensible halfway point".
"What we're suggesting is a half measure known as back-of-house drug testing, which is effectively where police and security will confiscate drugs where they find them — using the techniques they currently use, including sniffer dogs — but it's those drugs that end up being tested," he said.
"Then using digital technology we can get messaging out to the people at the festival very quickly that the drugs that they're about to take might have tested positive to chemicals, solvents and poisonous substances."
The Music has been advised that the bill will be tabled tomorrow. This article previously stated it would go ahead today and has since been amended.