Australia

NSW Labor sticks to its drug summit plan

A Victorian mum whose son died of a drug overdose after attending a music festival has presented a 100,000-strong petition backing pill testing to NSW Labor.

NSW's opposition leader has received a 100,000-signature petition calling for pill testing to be introduced but won't commit to implementing the policy if elected.

Michael Daley on Friday reiterated that if Labor wins power in March he'd hold a drugs summit with police, addiction specialists and other stakeholders to consider all options.

"I'll listen to the evidence and inform myself, if I'm the premier, about the best way forward," Mr Daley told reporters in Sydney.

"People are sick to death of politicians screaming at each other. Let's stop the screaming and have a civilised debate."

A similar drug summit in 1999 at the height of a heroin crisis led Bob Carr's Labor government to establish a medically-supervised injecting room in Kings Cross.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has written to federal Labor leader Bill Shorten asking him to censure Mr Daley for even considering pill testing.

The minister said the NSW leader was "recklessly undermining critical public health messages" and Mr Shorten's intervention would be "in the interests of young people".

Mr Daley labelled the letter a "political stunt".

Five young people have died of suspected drug overdoses since mid-September after attending NSW music festivals.

More than 103,000 people have signed the pro-pill testing petition created by Victorian mother Adriana Buccianti whose son, Daniel, died from a drug overdose at a music festival in 2012.

She's confident a drug summit would lead to change.

"You will find the overwhelming research will point towards pill testing," Ms Buccianti told reporters at NSW parliament.

But she doesn't want to wait and thinks politicians should act now.

"People need to be progressive, move forward and not be frightened about losing an election," she said.

"They might win."

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