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Pill testing support reaction

Some within Hobart City Council are wondering why its attention is being consumed by peripheral topics traditionally outside the core functions of local government.

The latest example was a vote last night which now sees council adopting a pro-pill testing stance for festivals and other events.

Alderman Tanya Denison voted against, noting it has no meaningful impact.

"The Council has no jurisdiction, no authority in this space and I question whether we should be spending our time and money in discussing and considering issues like this when there is nothing we can do to require an event organiser to go ahead with pill testing."

Pill testing would have to be legalised by the state government which has firmly and repeatedly ruled it out, bringing Alderman Denison to question if the Council should get back to basics.

"The Council is seemingly just continously drawn into more and more side issues that are possibly not the core expectation of rate payers, it's becoming incredibly expensive to be a rate payer in Hobart and really what are people getting for that investment ?"

But Greg Barns from the Australian Lawyers Alliance has commended the Hobart City Council for the move.

"This decision shows great leadership. The Council is sensibly responding to the strong medical evidence that shows pill testing will save lives, and to the growing wave of support for this approach.”

He is pressing the state government to reconsider its anti-pill testing mindset and notes Liberal Speaker Sue Hickey could join forces with opposition parties to out vote the government.

"Sue Hickey is on the record as being supportive of pill testing, that's because she believes in evidence based drug policies and we would hope the Labor party supports this policy."

The Greens have long championed its introduction.