Pill Testing Australia (PTA) and Harm Reduction Australia (HRA) are pleased to advise that approval has been given by the ACT Government to pilot Australia’s first ever fixed site pill testing service.
The approval was announced in last night’s ACT Government’s Budget and includes funding for this vital public health service to proceed.
Discussions with the ACT Health Department on the start date and hours of operation will commence in coming weeks but details on the initiative’s announcement can be found in the ACT Budget Outlook Papers (see page 189)
HRA & PTA want to thank the ACT Government, in particular the Chief Minister and Health Minister, as well as many other Assembly Members and officers within the ACT Government that gave their support and assistance to help develop this very important public health service.
The experience and expertise within the PTA & HRA teams in having already successfully delivered Australia’s only pill testing services at festivals has given the ACT Government the confidence to proceed with Australia’s first fixed site pill testing service.
There will be significant data collection and an independent evaluation built into the pilot program to allow the ACT Government to determine its future beyond the pilot period. It is also hoped that the information provided by the pilot program will allow other Governments in Australia to consider the evidence and determine the public health benefits from replicating the ACT Government decision.
PTA & HRA also confirmed their offer to provide a cost-free trial of its pill testing service at a music festival to all other Governments – this was an offer accepted in 2018 by the ACT Government and demonstrated the incredible value of our services to the health and wellbeing of festival goers by helping them make informed choices.
Pill testing has been shown to significantly reduce the harms from drug use by providing accurate information directly to people about the content of those substances. Too many Australian young people lose their lives each year from drug use and pill testing, along with a range of other harm reduction strategies, can help reduce that risk.
As announced in a recent media release PTA will have increased testing technology available at the fixed site pill testing service – 26 August 2021 Media Release
Please also see some links below to our reports from pilot pill testing programs in Canberra
2018 Report 2019 Media Release 2019 Report 2019 Independent Review
For further information, please contact:
Dr David Caldicott 0478 906 634
Ms Bronwyn Hendry 0417 827 776
Mr Gino Vumbaca 0408 244 552