It’s gone as quickly as it came… plans for pill testing at Australia’s Spilt Milk festival have been abandoned, citing ‘pressure’ from government officials for quick reversal.


However, there are two conflicting stories for the abandonment of the plans.

One of the promoters for the festival, Kicks Entertainment director Ryan Phillips, told local radio station triple j that the pill testing consortium Safety Testing Advisory Service at Festivals and Events (STA-SAFE) needed “more time to provide documentation, insurance, legal framework and operate on federal land.”

However, a member of STA-SAFE said that this is not true.

“I think what’s happened is that there has been pressure placed upon a promoter, who’s a small businessman, and I think that’s probably where the root of the problem lies,” Dr David Caldicott said. “We have provided every piece of documentation that has been requested.”

In order to test pills on commonwealth land, which Commonwealth Park is, the festival would need to obtain a license from the National Capital Authority. The organization denies that any “pressure” was placed on the festival organizers and said that business relations had “been quite good.”

Dr. Caldicott has been attempting to get in touch with the NCA to come up with an amicable solution since Wednesday, however it seems they have been ignoring his calls.

 

The suddenness of the whole situation is what led Dr. Caldicott to believe that some external forces were at work, considering his claim that they’ve provided every piece of documentation they were asked for.

On the other hand, NCA chairman Terry Webber told reporters that it was “his understanding Mr Phillips decided not to go ahead with pill testing at the festival.”

“It’s not really the NCA’s role to be supportive [of pill testing] or not,” he continued.

There is still hope that the decision will be turned around once again.

 

Source: ABC Australia