Groovin The Moo Canberra has regrettably had to cancel their pill testing option after their insurance company backed out at the last minute.

Canberra’s Groovin The Moo festival (2022) is kicking off incredibly soon. Sunday, 24th, April, soon. Everything appeared to be running smoothly, which is a relief, as the festival had to wait out two years of pandemic measures. Then, in an unforeseen flake, the insurance company working with Pill Testing Australia and Harm Reduction Australia backed out. Despite Groovin The Moo and the relevant pill testing related groups working closely with the insurance company to lock in paperwork, the insurance company backed out – mere days from the opening of the festival.

“I regretfully must inform you that the insurance company involved in insuring our service have today withdrawn their coverage and support for pill testing services”, commented Harm Reduction Australia president Gino Vumbaca. This is “Despite the detailed risk management work put together by our team and Groovin the Moo’s team”.

Vumbaca went on to state that the insurance company requested additional measures from Harm Reduction Australia before “they could support pill testing services being included at the festival”. This is an especially disappointing backflip from the insurance company considering that all the plans had already been sent. Not to mention, over 40 volunteers had already been trained to provide pill testing services for the beloved festival. Dr Marisa Peterson expressed her concern regarding the dismissal of the potentially life-saving service, shortly after the news dropped.

A real backwards step for drug harm minimisation in Australia today with Canberra’s @groovinthemoo festival not able to provide pill testing services after insurance companies backed out. Very disappointing and lives will be at risk as a result. #cbr #act

Annie Madden, a founding member of Harm Reduction Australia, has asked for government intervention regarding the cancellation. “It is NOT OK that the private sector dictates when, where and now even IF critical frontline #harmredux services are provided”.

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