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Byron Shire
March 4, 2021

Acting mayor ‘happy’ to push for pill testing

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Acting Byron Shire mayor Michael Lyon says if anyone wants the council to call on the NSW government for pill-testing at festivals, all they need do is ask.

Sydney’s Waverley Council voted in late February to request better protection for young people, including pill-testing at music festivals and an end to drug sniffer dogs and strip searches.

A team of Greens and Labor councillors on that council passed the vote, and Byron acting mayor Michael Lyon says he’d like to see the same happen in Byron Shire Council.

‘I would be in favour of such a motion,’ Cr Lyon said.

When asked if such a  policy was something he would put on the agenda for Council’s next ordinary meeting this month, he replied ‘potentially’.

‘Often the way motions to Council are proposed and done is when a member of the community approaches a councillor and says, “I would love you to support this or put this forward”,’ said Cr Lyon.

‘You know, there’s a lot on at the moment,’ he said, ‘If someone were to do the work behind that and provide that proposal to me, I’d certainly be in favour of putting it forward.’

Byron Shire Council has four Greens and two Labor councillors, enough to pass the vote if they work together. Cr Lyon says anyone in the community is welcome to contact any of the councillors with a request for the pill-testing call.

Mia Armitage is from BayFM’s Community Newsroom.

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  1. Pill testing is important and gr8 for harm reduction. However the article mentioned that Waverley Council also included an end to drug sniffer dogs and strip searches. All these measures make Waverley/s harm minimisation strategy more comprehensive and better for youth.

    Its also great that Lyon is open to these measures and has given a template to pursue this via the Council.

  2. Well done Cr. Michael Lyon. Credit given where due.
    Providing testing does NOT condone the behaviour. It protects our youth during an age of making ‘not so smart’ choices and can potentially save lives.
    I sincerely hope Byron community seize this opportunity and take up Cr. Lyon’s socially intelligent offer while it’s on the table!


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