Not anytime soon, mind you… But the Greens passed a motion through the Senate this week that could lead to the issue being looked at by the government, and hopefully curbing the six Australian deaths that occur every day to overdoses.
There may be light at the end of the tunnel for dog-dodging partygoers. While the issue has been debated between parties in the past, perhaps the most interesting aspect of this passed motion is that it had the support of both Labor and the Liberals. It seems the Senate was willing to accept the evidence that the sniffer dog program, costing $9 million per year, doesn’t perform well enough to justify its existence.
Instead, the Greens put forward a strategy of harm minimisation that has worked overseas — mobile testing stations that would let you know if that pill you scored from a stranger actually contains ecstasy, or more dangerous filler chemicals like PMA. The Greens also advocated for more supervised injecting centres, and putting a spotlight on “life-saving opioid reversal drug Naloxone”.
In a media release, the Greens commended the Senate for agreeing to move forward:
“Needle and syringe programs, supervised injecting rooms, pill testing – these are all evidence-based harm reduction measures that the government should resource.
“I’m pleased the Senate has agreed that the Federal Government should act. Now it’s time for Liberal and Labor governments to back these measures in every state and territory.”