There is still hope a pill testing trial could be conducted in Tasmania after a motion which called on the government to explore a conducting a trial at Tasmanian music festivals and events this summer failed to gain the support of the upper house.
The motion, moved by Montgomery Independent MLC Ruth Forrest on Tuesday, was only supported by four members, with Liberal and Labor both voting against the motion.
However, Premier Will Hodgman, Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing Jeremy Rockliff, Health Minister Sarah Courtney, Speaker Sue Hickey and a representative of Tasmania Police are set to meet with Pill Testing Australia in three weeks time.
Despite failing to pass the house, the motion has been labelled a successful process by the Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council of Tasmania.
ATDC chief executive Alison Lai said, while the motion was defeated, the opportunity to have the debate in itself was a significant outcome.
"The debate that occurred in the upper house was an important milestone in the community discussion that has happened to date on this important issue and we applaud Ms Forrest for tabling the motion and enabling it to occur," Ms Lai said.
"It has helped us to get a stronger understanding of the issues concerning people, so that we can respond to those concerns.
"It's confirmed there still continues to be a large amount of misinformation circulating, which was evident by some of the comments [during the debate].
"The topic of drugs is complex, and drug policy is not simple. It absolutely requires solid debate and inquiry and we believe that is what occurred on Tuesday."
Ms Lai said, while Liberal members of the upper house did not support the motion, they did voice their agreement that pill testing was a health related matter and confirmed the government was committed to listening to the evidence, including awaiting the outcomes of the NSW coronial inquiry into festival deaths and the Australian National University's review of a pill testing trial in the ACT.
"Despite the previous push-back from the Tasmanian government, we walked away with a renewed sense of confidence that there is a genuine willingness to continue exploring the matter," Ms Lai said.
"Ms Forrest made it clear in her closing statement she intends to re-table the motion pending the release of the coronial recommendations.
"We look forward to continuing our discussions with all members of Parliament in the coming weeks."