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Pill testing will no longer take place at festival Spilt Milk

Plans to conduct pill testing at Canberra’s Spilt Milk festival in November have been canned due to a dispute over incomplete documentation.

The testing was to be conducted by the Safety Testing Advisory Service at Festivals and Events consortium (STA-SAFE ), but according to a statement released by Spilt Milk last night, STA-SAFE failed to provide the appropriate documentation for the trial to take place.

“Since the ACT Government’s progressive announcement that pill testing would be conducted by STA-SAFE at this year’s Spilt Milk event, we have been awaiting STA-SAFE’s operational plan, associated risk assessment, insurance and legal framework for their trialling of pill testing on federal land,” Spilt Milk’s statement read.

“With these items not yet received, and Spilt Milk just six weeks away, we had to submit 2017 event operation planning without STA-SAFE’s pill testing to the NCA, the owner of the land on which Spilt Milk takes place. We had to do this to ensure everything necessary was in place for the event to take place on the 25th of November.

“Unfortunately, what this means is that pill testing is not able to be trialled at this year’s event.”

Kick Entertainment director Ryan Phillips told triple j’s Hack that the festival was “hugely disappointed”.

“But I’d be more disappointed if we do it wrong and have a trial that’s not successful and this doesn’t make a difference in Australia,” Phillips said. “It comes down to STA-SAFE — they need more time to provide documentation, insurance, legal framework to operate on federal land.”

But STA-SAFE’s Dr David Caldicott denied this, telling Hack that the organisation had “provided all documentation necessary.”

“We haven’t been consulted, we really don’t know what this is all about,” he said. “If [they] would like to contact us we would be delighted.”

The decision comes less than a month after the ACT Government first confirmed it would allow at the festival, in what would have been an Australian first.