We’re sorry, this feature is currently unavailable. We’re working to restore it. Please try again later.
Add articles to your saved list and come back to them any time.
A man has been charged with supplying a prohibited drug to a 21-year-old who died soon after attending the Knockout Outdoor music festival at Sydney’s Olympic Park on Saturday.
A 21-year-old died after attending the Knockout Outdoor music festival on Saturday.Credit: eventshsu
The young man was treated at a hotel on George Street in the city before being taken to St Vincent’s Hospital, but died in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Police arrested Trong Ha Nguyen at Sydney Airport on Monday afternoon, and during a search of the 23-year-old allegedly seized $13,535 in cash.
Nguyen, from Victoria, was charged with supplying a self-administered prohibited drug causing death and dealing with property proceeds of crime less than $100,000. He was refused bail when he appeared at Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday.
The man’s death was one of two over the long weekend – which marked the start of the summer festival season – raising questions about the NSW government’s approach to pill testing.
A 26-year-old man also died of a suspected overdose after attending the Knockout Outdoor festival.
Premier Chris Minns has so far resisted calls for a pill testing trial in NSW.Credit: Jessica Hromas
The ACT is piloting a pill-testing regime, while Queensland relaxed laws relating to possession of small amounts of illicit drugs earlier this year. Before the state election, NSW Labor promised to hold a summit in its first term to examine drug policy, but is yet to set a date.
Previous inquiries have recommended pill testing at music festivals, but Premier Chris Minns has so far resisted any calls for change.
Minns on Tuesday said the use of drugs like MDMA, or ecstasy, in hot conditions where people were liable to become severely dehydrated was a “toxic and extremely dangerous mix”.
“Pill testing is not going to stop that happening and I need to make sure when decisions are made about festival safety – which is our primary concern – it’s done with the full information on the table,” he said.
Minns said NSW would learn from other jurisdictions, and he was not ruling out introducing a pill-testing trial.
“If I thought that [introducing pill testing] was a silver bullet that would solve deaths at music festivals, of course I would take it, but when it comes to toxicity, when it comes to MDMA and ecstasy use, there’s no safe drug-taking at festivals or anywhere else.”
With AAP
Start the day with a summary of the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up for our Morning Edition newsletter.
Copyright © 2023