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Australia Amnesty bins to be rolled out at NSW festivals

04:00  11 december  2019
04:00  11 december  2019 Source:   9news.com.au

Man dies from suspected drug overdose at Strawberry Fields music festival in Riverina region

  Man dies from suspected drug overdose at Strawberry Fields music festival in Riverina region The 24-year-old man was taken to the medical tent and staff were told he had taken multiple substances including GHB, MDMA and cocaine. The man suffered a cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at 2:02am.Officers from the Murray River Police District are investigating.A lengthy statement from the festival organisers said the team worked year round to ensure the 9,500 festivalgoers were hosted in the safest possible environment. "We are completely devastated by this news," the statement said."We would like to send our sincere condolences to his family and friends during this distressing and terribly sad time.

The so-called " amnesty bins " could prevent dangerous situations where partygoers panic and take multiple pills at once when faced with being searched by authorities, according to proponents. Harm Reduction Victoria has also been calling for pill-testing laboratories to be made available at events

The so-called “ amnesty bins ” could prevent dangerous situations where partygoers panic and take multiple pills at once when faced with being searched by authorities, according to proponents. Harm Reduction Victoria has also been calling for pill-testing laboratories to be made available at events

Amnesty bins will be available at music festivals across NSW in the wake of recommendations following a spate of drugs deaths, the premier has announced.© Getty Images Amnesty bins will be available at music festivals across NSW in the wake of recommendations following a spate of drugs deaths, the premier has announced.

Amnesty bins will be available at music festivals across NSW in the wake of recommendations following a spate of drugs deaths.

"We believe amnesty bins are a good way to increase safety so young people, if they see police don't panic and have the opportunity without questions asked to throw those pills in the bin," NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

They will be rolled out from December 28.

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A group of cross-party NSW MPs is urging the Premier to commit to a drug summit after the March election, warning that urgent action is needed to stop people Their letter comes after four people have died of suspected drug overdoses at NSW music festivals since September, reigniting the

The festival in East London promises to provide “activities for all the family” and the one-day festival will even have a children’s play area. A Labour source said: “The point of having amnesty bins outside the venue is to prevent drugs being brought into the site. This is the responsible thing to do

The premier defended her decision not to introduce pill testing at festivals, saying five of the six young people who died at events recently would not have been saved by testing.

Last month, Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame delivered 28 recommendations following an inquest into the six MDMA-related deaths.

She called for pill testing and urged NSW Police to stop using "harmful" sniffer dogs at festival gates.

The coroner said the government needed to look at the issue of drug use at festivals with "fresh eyes".

The inquest examined the deaths of Sydneysiders Nathan Tran, Joseph Pham and Callum Brosnan, Melbourne student Diana Nguyen, Brisbane teaching student Joshua Tam and Central Coast teen Alex Ross-King.

All were aged under 24, and took multiple MDMA capsules the day they attended NSW music festivals in the 13 months to January 2019.

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In neighbouring New South Wales , a coronial inquest into drug-related festival deaths has called for pill-testing to be introduced permanently, but the call was rebuffed by the NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, who claims it gives potential drug users a “a false sense of security”.

The bins - dubbed " amnesty bins " - have previously been trialled at events such as music festivals . They were aimed at halting dealing and drug use at However a spokesperson added: "The university does not condone any illegal activity, and students who are found to be using or possessing drugs or

Mr Tam died of complications of MDMA use, Mr Brosnan died of mixed drug toxicity and the rest died of MDMA overdoses.

She was backed by grieving parents and a former police boss.

But Ms Berejiklian said festival-goers need to take responsibility for themselves, and again urged people not to take drugs.

"Don't take those pills, that's the strongest message we can take to everybody," she said.

"We're doing everything we can to keep those festivals safe. There is an element of personal responsibility."

NSW Police minister, David Elliot, backed the amnesty plan, saying: "Amnesty bins give an opportunity for people that have made a bad decision turn it into a good decision.

"My message is clear, you should be aware that every pill, drug that you use could be a fatal dose."

NSW Health minister Brad Hazzard said he was satisfied the industry was working well with the government and said he believed music festivals were becoming safer.

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Bolivia's attorney general's office ordered the arrest of exiled former president Evo Morales on Wednesday following the interim government's accusation of sedition and terrorism. Public prosecutors in La Paz signed an order for police to detain the 60-year-old and take him to the attorney general's office. Interior minister Arturo Murillo recently brought charges against Morales, alleging he promoted violent clashes that led to 35 deaths.

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