“The ACT Party will be supporting the Drug and Substance Checking Legislation Bill, despite the irregularity of passing it through all stages under urgency,” says ACT Party Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.
“Ideally legislation such as this would receive greater parliamentary scrutiny, but ACT supports the Bill’s primary objective of reducing the harm of illegal substances, and with a packed summer festival season almost upon us we accept there is a degree of urgency.
“It’s a fact that many people choose to take pills at concerts and festivals, and no one wants to be the loved-one of a tragic fatality that could have been avoided.
“This Bill does not make drug use legal but it might reduce the harm of drug use by clarifying a legal uncertainty over whether testing service providers can operate or not.
“The present situation is that people are likely to consume substances with less information than they could have about its potential to do them harm because the origin, composition and toxicity of the substances is unknown.
“We believe the Bill strikes a reasonable balance between a legislative regime making certain substances illegal and a public health objective of limiting the potential harm from those substances.
“ACT believes this Bill improves the balance between hard-to-police prohibition and public health.”