Music festivals matter: they contribute to the social, creative & economic life of NSW.
But shoddy regulation like the Festivals License is driving them out of NSW, without addressing genuine risks to health and safety, through harm minimisation strategies like pill testing.
That's why Lord Mayor Clover Moore and I gave evidence yesterday at the Parliamentary Inquiry into Music Festivals Regulation.
The regulation should be repealed and genuine industry consultation commenced: festival organisers know their audiences, and are best placed to work with harm minimisation experts and health services to help people understand (and reduce) the risks of taking drugs at festivals. If saving lives is the goal, drug testing must be considered, as well as a more appropriate approach to policing events.
This Parliamentary Inquiry is in a powerful position: they can prevent the kind of devastation that resulted from the last time we got knee-jerk, ill-designed regulation through licensing to deal with a social issue. There's still time to stop another lockouts and the ripple effect it has had on the social and economic life of our community.