RIVERINA politicians have divided opinions on the merits of testing illegal drugs at music festivals.
The Border Mail sought the opinion of the members for Albury, Murray and Wagga following the Greens flagging plans to introduce a bill to parliament to legalise testing.
Greens MP Cate Faehrmann said her proposal would provide for pill testing and drug counselling at music festivals, with organisers able to apply for a licence.
Albury Liberal MP Justin Clancy said he wanted to see the findings of a coronial investigation into six deaths at NSW music festivals before declaring his view on pill testing.
"I do understand concerns about having testing at music festivals but I also understand the concerns around the deaths and ways of improving safety at music festivals," Mr Clancy said.
"I go into it with an open mind and those are things we will debate in the party room and form a position from there."
Independent Wagga MP and medico Joe McGirr believes pill testing should occur subject to conditions.
"It's got to be aimed at harm minimisation and a bill directed towards reducing pill consumption and educating the people who are thinking of taking the pills," Dr McGirr said.
"It should be in no way encouraging people."
Shooters, Farmers and Fishers Party MP for Murray Helen Dalton is opposed to drug testing.
"I just don't think it's an effective use of taxpayers' money," Mrs Dalton said.
"The government can never guarantee 100 per cent an illegal drug is safe and what if they deem a pill is safe and a teenager has a reaction, will the government be sued?"
Strawberry Fields co-director Tara Benney declined to comment specifically on the Greens' proposal, but offered broad support to more action on drugs.
"Health and safety of our patrons is our number one priority, we support any harm minimisation strategies that will keep our patrons safe," Ms Benney said.
"We appreciate drugs are illegal, however we would like to see a common sense approach from all stakeholders around pill testing, drug education, and any harm minimisation measures that are available."
Kevin Clough was found with 14.2 grams of ecstasy.
He needed to move from Melbourne to an Albury caravan park to qualify for the method of punishment.