Grieving Family Request Meeting With Premier To Discuss Pill Testing
The grieving family of Alex Ross-King has requested a meeting with Gladys Berejklian to discuss pill testing and other harm reduction measures.
Ross-King, 19, died after taking a substance believed to be MDMA at the FOMO music festival last Saturday.
It reignited the debate around pill testing, but so far the NSW premier has remained firm on her position to not explore it as an option.
"We are deeply grieving the sudden loss of our beautiful girl Alex," the family said in a statement late Tuesday night.
"We encourage government to courageously take all active measures possible to reduce the risk, in particular, festival goers, through intensifying current initiatives as well as implementing other harm reduction strategies.
"Pill testing is only one measure. There is no safe level of drug consumption BUT, it is an opportunity for intervention."
The family has requested a meeting with Berejikliann to "confer and exchange views". Berejiklian's office has not yet confirmed to 10 daily if the premier will attend a meeting.
"Premiere, please: can we get the pill testing done," Alex's grandmother Denise Doig exclusively told 10 News First.
"It's such a small thing to do, it's not hard. Let's try and get it out there. If it saves one life -- one life is a life."
A Change.org petition started in 2016 calling for pill testing shot up by more than 20,000 signatures this week, and as of Wednesday morning sits at almost 90,000 signatures.
"I can't get my son back but I want to make sure no-one else has to go through the hell of losing their child to a mistake like I did," said petition starter Adriana Buccianti, whose son Daniel died at the Rainbow Serpent Festival in 2012.
NSW opposition leader Michael Daley has promised to hold a drug summit if Labor wins the upcoming state election, where pill testing will be considered.
Meanwhile, the NSW coroner announced it will hold an inquest into the spate of drug-related deaths at music festivals this summer, following the deaths of Alex, Diana Nguyen, Joseph Pham, Callum Brosnan and Joshua Tam.
A directions hearing has been set for January 22.
READ MORE: Why Are So Many Young Australians Dying?
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