Bleats

While NSW Has Its Head In The Sand, The ACT's Groovin The Moo Festival Is Going Ahead With Pill Testing Trial

Go Groovin!

Last year, Canberra’s Groovin the Moo festival became the first in the country to host a pill testing trial. The ACT Government hailed the trial a success, with 85 substances tested and two potentially deadly substances detected.

This year, Groovin the Moo’s festival-goers will again have the opportunity to ensure their safety, as the local government signed off on the nation’s second ever pill testing trial.

After a summer of tragic festival overdoses in New South Wales that saw the deaths of five young people, it’s refreshing to see that at least some governmental bodies are being proactive and logical about harm reduction.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said state and territory health ministers from across the country would be invited to witness the trial first-hand at this year’s event.

“We are keen for this approach to continue on the basis of the success of the first trial and the failure of policy over many decades now to address harm minimisation adequately,” he said.

“We believe that by making this service available there’s potential to save lives.”

The ACT’s support of pill testing makes the New South Wales Government’s current strategy seem even more unreasonably than it already did.

Under the leadership of Gladys Berejiklian , NSW has refused to consider pill testing, and has doubled down with new policing rules that are making it near impossible for festivals around the state to run.

The damage done to the live music/entertainment industry by these new rulings, along with the refusal to tackle recreational drug usage with a proven approach, is disastrous. It prompted Sydney’s councillors to go against the NSW Government last week by unanimously voting to support the creation of a harm reduction summit that will reassess the current policies and the viability of initiatives like pill testing.

Hopefully NSW will eventually get to where ACT is on this matter, and we can actually save lives instead of talking s**t.

Australia Has Lost A Bold Ruler: Leonard Casley, Self-Proclaimed Prince Of His Own Micronation

Prince Leonard leaves behind quite the legacy.

Within Western Australia, we have the micronation Hutt River. Technically, the Australian government doesn’t officially recognise the legitimacy of Hutt River, but that never stopped Leonard Casley from persevering as Prince of Hutt River.

Now Leonard Casley, better known as Prince Leonard, has died at age 93.

Casley was a Western Australian wheat farmer, who seceded from Australia to form an independent sovereign state in 1970 after a dispute with the state government over wheat production quotas. Hutt River Province, which lies about 500km north of Perth, has its own flag, currency, passports and royal family – in spite of not being recognised by the government.

Prince Leonard ruled for 45 years before abdicating the throne to his youngest son, Graeme, in 2017. Prince Graeme told Perth Now his father was,

“a man of small stature but a man of big shoes”.

Leonard Casley died on Wednesday after being admitted to the hospital with a lung infection over the weekend. He’s lived with emphysema for 20 years.

“He’s a man that lived three lifetimes, and he did very well to get to 93.” Graeme said.

Although Casley has left behind a multimillion dollar income tax debt, he’s also left behind a legacy of bold defiance – something that we sometimes need in the face of the government. Farewell Prince Leonard, rest easy.

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