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Gladys Berejiklian says it’s ‘horrific’ boy, 13 was ‘busted selling drugs at music festival’

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says it is ‘horrific’ that children as young as 13 were allegedly dealing drugs at an under-18s Sydney dance festival.

Three teenagers – two aged 17 and one 13 – are among 16 alleged dealers expected to front court after police operations at three Sydney music festivals on the weekend.

The three teenagers were allegedly caught carrying MDMA capsules at Goodlife Lost City at Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says it is ‘horrific’ that children as young as 13 were allegedly dealing drugs (Pictured is Ultra Festival)

They were arrested and charged with drug supply. A 16-year-old was also charged with drug possession (Pictured is Ultra Festival)

They were arrested and charged with drug supply. A 16-year-old was also charged with drug possession (Pictured is Ultra Festival)

'I can't think of anything more horrific if the allegations are correct,' Ms Berejiklian said 

‘I can’t think of anything more horrific if the allegations are correct,’ Ms Berejiklian said 

They were arrested and charged with drug supply. A 16-year-old was also charged with drug possession.

‘I can’t think of anything more horrific if the allegations are correct,’ Ms Berejiklian said today.

‘It concerns me at any age but particularly at that age where children are so vulnerable.’

The arrests come after a wave of drug deaths at Sydney music festivals over the summer.

Diana Nguyen, Joseph Pham, Callum Brosnan, Joshua Tam and Alexandra Ross-King all died after taking drugs at NSW music festivals.

All were aged between 19 and 23.

A Coronial Inquest is currently underway, charged with investigating the spate of drug overdose deaths.

Drugs are believed to be a factor in three of the ten hospitalisations from the Lost City festival, a spokeswoman for NSW Health said.

All patients have been discharged.

The premier said the arrests showed young people needed to be better educated about drug use and illegal activities at school

The premier said the arrests showed young people needed to be better educated about drug use and illegal activities at school

The premier said the arrests showed young people needed to be better educated about drug use and illegal activities at school

The premier said the arrests showed young people needed to be better educated about drug use and illegal activities at school

The premier said the arrests showed young people needed to be better educated about drug use and illegal activities at school.

‘It’s not about stopping fun, it’s about stopping people dying,’ the premier said.

Pressure is mounting on Ms Berejiklian to reconsider her position on pill testing after the deaths at the music festivals. 

But the Liberal leader is defiantly telling teens to simply say ‘No’ to drugs.

‘We need to keep setting out the strongest message that taking these illicit drugs kills … we ask young people not to do it,’ the premier said last month.

Ms Berejklian argues there’s no evidence that pill testing works but that’s not what the experts say.

Doctors groups and medical academics are increasingly demanding trials in Australia while pointing to harm reduction in countries where testing is available such as the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain and France

The youth festival was not among the 14 events identified as 'high risk' by the state government at the weekend

The youth festival was not among the 14 events identified as ‘high risk’ by the state government at the weekend

The youth festival was not among the 14 events identified as ‘high risk’ by the state government at the weekend.

But yesterday’s Ultra Music festival at Parramatta Park – where 10 people were charged with drug supply – was.

Police searched 395 people at the event, which drew a 20,000-strong crowd.

Officers laid 45 charges and refused bail to four alleged suppliers.

They were expected to appear at court today, while the other six are due at a later date.

Ultra ended with 13 people rushed to hospital, drugs are believed to be factors in nine of those cases.

Five of the 13 people hospitalised were in critical conditions.

Two men remain in serious but stable conditions in hospital while a female is due to be discharged today

Two men remain in serious but stable conditions in hospital while a female is due to be discharged today

Two men remain in serious but stable conditions in hospital while a female is due to be discharged today.

A third festival, Secret Garden, was responsible for three further drug supply charges over its two-day run in Sydney’s south west.

Among them was a 22-year-old man allegedly found with 32 tabs of LSD along with smaller suspected amounts of dexamphetamine and MDMA on Saturday.

Two women, aged 27 and 32, were charged at Secret Garden on Friday and ordered to appear in court in March.

Ms Berejiklian said striking a balance between tough policing and the freedom of citizens was a challenge when it came to the high-risk events.

‘On one hand the government has been accused of being heavy handed with the high-risk festivals but I think recent events demonstrate why we want to keep these festivals safe,’ she said.

She said the vast majority of festivals have ‘nothing to worry about’.

‘But we’re saying to the high risk festivals if the health department thinks that there aren’t enough medical supervision on site, please work with us to fix that,’ the premier said.

PICTURED: SIX YOUNG REVELLERS WHO DIED FROM SUSPECTED PARTY DRUG OVERDOSES IN JUST FIVE MONTHS  

MARLI CARTMER-CONGIU 

Marli Cartmer-Congiu took liquid ecstasy for the first time at a house party in Sydney’s inner-east on Saturday night, her friends said. 

A short time later, she collapsed. Her friends called an ambulance and she was rushed to hospital, but she couldn’t be saved. 

ALEX ROSS-KING

Alex Ross-King, 19, died in hospital on January 12 after attending the FOMO festival at Parramatta Park.

The Central Coast teenager’s family have pleaded with the NSW government to introduce pill testing reigniting the debate over its effectiveness.

JOSHUA TAM  

 

Joshua Tam, 22, died in hospital on December 29 after attending the Lost Paradise music festival near Gosford.

His family have helped set up a clothing label in the young rugby league player’s memory with proceeds going towards drug education for young Australians. 

CALLUM BROSNAN

Callum Brosnan, 19, died after attending the dance music festival Knockout Games of Destiny on December 9.

He was found at a train station near the festival at Sydney Olympic Park but later died in hospital.

JOSEPH PHAM

Callum Brosnan (pictured left) and Joseph Pham (pictured right) both died after suspected drug overdoses at festivals late last year 

Joseph Pham, 23, from western Sydney died in hospital from a suspected drug overdose on September 15 after the Defqon.1 festival.

Weeks before his death he shared a Facebook post from a group called ‘Sniff Off’ who advocate for no sniffer dogs, pill testing and drug legalisation.

DIANA NGUYEN

Diana Nguyen, a 21-year-old from Melbourne, also died after Defqon.1 on September 15 from a suspected drug overdose.

Ms Nguyen was engaged after her finance had proposed in Hawaii during her 21st birthday in April.

A coronial inquest has been launched to investigate the five deaths which occurred at music festivals.     

Two more deaths may be examined at the inquest. 

 

 

 

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