Premier Gladys Berejiklian today established a high level expert panel to provide advice on how to keep people safe at music festivals.
Ms Berejiklian’s announcement comes after two people died on Saturday night and many others were treated for drug-related injuries at the Defqon.1 music festival in Penrith.
The State Government has since confirmed Defqon.1 will not take place at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in the future.
Police Commissioner, Mick Fuller APM, NSW Chief Medical Officer Dr Kerry Chant and Chair of the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority Philip Crawford will provide the NSW Government advice on:
• Whether new offences or increased penalties are required to stop drug dealers endangering lives;
• How music festival promoters and operators can improve safety at their festivals; and
• Whether improved drug education is required to address the increase in illegal drug use in our community.
“We need to do everything we can to protect the safety of concert goers and people attending music festivals,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“That is why I have tasked our health, law enforcement and regulatory experts to advise Government on what can be done immediately to improve safety at these events.
“I want people to be able to enjoy music festivals – they are an important part of NSW’s entertainment scene. But unfortunately, the operators of this particular festival have had a poor safety record with four deaths in the last five years and many more being treated for drug-related injuries. This is simply not good enough.
“Festival goers have a right to enjoy these events without fear of harm. Parents and families expect us to do whatever we can to keep their children safe.”
The Premier has requested that the Panel provide its advice within four weeks.
The panel will conduct targeted stakeholder consultation, including with the music industry and local government.