Amnesty bins have been used for the first time in the Northern Rivers at Falls Festival Byron Bay.
Amnesty bins have been used for the first time in the Northern Rivers at Falls Festival Byron Bay.

Drug amnesty bins used at Falls Festival

DRUG amnesty bins without fear of prosecution or penalty have been used for the first time at a music festival on the Northern Rivers.

Administered by NSW Health, two bins were located at Falls Festivals Byron Bay.

One was located inside a tent before the gates, and the second one within the medical facility.

A spokesperson from NSW Health confirmed this was the first time the bins had been used in the area, and the third time they have been at music festivals in NSW.

"The bin outside the gates is surrounded by a tent and police are not allowed nearby," the spokesperson said.

The NSW Health spokesperson said they were working closely with NSW Police to test the samples seized but not the ones surrendered.

"The bins that are being introduced to festivals are amnesty bins only and there is currently no testing done on the drugs disposed of in them," the spokesperson said.

"NSW Health is working closely with NSW Police so that samples of drugs seized, including at high-risk music festivals, are sent for toxicology analysis, to enhance surveillance and monitoring of the composition of the NSW drug supply and to inform future NSW Health and NSW Police operational responses.

"Testing of drugs seized by police is a longstanding practice."

Drug amnesty bins for music festival goers were announced by the NSW Government last December.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the measure formed a key part of the NSW Government's response to the Deputy Coroner's recommendations following her inquest into the deaths of six patrons at NSW music festivals.

"The recent deaths at music festivals are tragic reminders of the dangers of illegal drugs," Ms Berejiklian said.

"We will continue to send the strong message that drugs can and do kill.

"Amnesty bins will provide a quick and easy way for music festivalgoers to discard their drugs - no questions asked."

Minister for Police David Elliott said the Government has been working closely with NSW Police to improve safety at music festivals.

"We want people to use these amnesty bins for illegal drugs and enjoy their time at music festivals," Mr Elliott said.

Ahead of the event, Falls Byron Festival Director Brandon Saul confirmed Falls Festival would roll out the bins.

"I think it's a good idea," Mr Saul said.

"It's a pretty straight forward strategy, there are bins just inside the entrance, if anyone has made the mistake of bringing drugs with them to that point, they can put them in the bin without any repercussions whatsoever."

"They are before the drug dogs and the police have agreed to allow it to happen."

More than 100 security, medical, emergency services personnel and police were also onsite.