HYPOXI® is one of Europe’s most successful health and weight loss studio concepts. It’s the first weight loss technology to incorporate exercise with advanced vacuum and…read more
Police say Rainbow Serpent Festival ‘hijacked’ by organised drug dealers
With a record number of arrests made at this year's five-day Rainbow Serpent festival, Victoria Police say the event was "hijacked" by organised drug syndicates.
Victoria Police Inspector Dan Davison said they had made a record number of arrests at festival site at Lexton in regional Victoria, with the majority of the 54 offenders implicated in drug possession and trafficking.
Inspector Davison said Police had not previously seen illicit behaviour so blatantly on display at the event, advising "the traffickers have been very overt in their actions
"Which indicates to me that the festival itself has been hijacked by potential organised crime as a platform for them to sell their wares to the vulnerable patrons that are at the festival."
He said festival organisers could not be expected to prevent the criminal activity occurring across the event, telling the ABC "we've worked really strongly with the Rainbow Serpent staff and organisation, and we'll continue to do that.
"As well run as it is, they can't gear up to tackle the sort of crime that they've seen this year, particularly in the drug space.
"Regardless of how small that syndicate may be, it's well organised — particularly given the substances we've seen coming through the event.
"We've had seizures of ketamine, MDMA, acid or LSD, cannabis as well as methamphetamine."
Festival organiser Tim Harvey told ABC Radio Statewide Drive that he does not deny the claims from Police, commenting "30 years of prohibition has made an extremely attractive and lucrative market for organised criminals."
Harvey said it was obviously a concerning situation, but that it was not unique to the 18,000-person Rainbow Serpent event, adding "for five days we are the largest town in western Victoria outside of Ballarat, and we will incur some of the other challenges that the rest of society faces.
"When you can't eliminate drugs from prisons and you can't eliminate drugs from the general society, it's an incredibly big ask to expect music festivals to eliminate drugs in their entirety from our grounds.
"This is happening weekend, after weekend, after weekend in every city and town across Australia."
Seven people were hospitalised for suspected drug overdoses at the site, with reports from Police that a British woman is still "fighting for her life in the Austin hospital".
Most of the individuals charged with drug-related offences were given cautions, but a number have already been sentenced in court.
A 23-year-old man from Edithvale in Melbourne's south-east, Kurtis Smith, broke down in tears in the Ballarat Magistrates' Court when he was jailed for three months after pleading guilty to several drug trafficking charges.
He was arrested at the event on Saturday after he was allegedly caught with 32 bags of ketamine and cocaine, 99 ecstasy tablets and other drugs.
A 21-year-old man from Morwell in Victoria's Gippsland, Zac Mangion, was handed an 18-month Community Corrections Order after pleading guilty to one charge of drug trafficking.
There were also several reports of sexual assault and theft at the festival, and Victoria Police and WorkSafe are still investigating a truck rollover on last Thursday that injured two men and a woman in a tent.
24th January 2019 - Australian Festival Association launched to create ‘world-leading’ standards
18th January 2019 - Leading medical body calls for pill testing trials at Australian festivals
7th November 2018 - Falls Music and Arts Festival class action goes to trial
16th September 2018 - NSW Premier vows to ban Sydney music festival after drug deaths
17th August 2016 - Eventbrite research shows Australians love festivals
1st February 2016 - Victoria to offer huge calendar of events through March
1st September 2015 - Eventbrite reduces fees to offer savings for Australian customers
19th November 2014 - New music festivals make good in regional Victoria
14th August 2014 - Report shows events drive regional tourism
19th April 2013 - New campaign to boost tourism in regional Victoria
Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?
The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.
However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.
Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.
Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.
Click here to subscribe.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
Summit Fitness Equipment is now part of NovoFit - see www.ausleisure.com.au/suppliers/novofit/read more
Activating skyscapes for tourism, art, leisure and living TouchCloud Global (TCg) is a highly specialised international consultancy, broker and principal, devoted solely to activating and energising…read more
We are Aussie Strength. The ultimate supplier for Commercial Gym Equipment that's built to deliver in the toughest environments. From USA-Built hardcore weight training equipment from Arsenal…read more
Solarwise NSW / Dolphin Tech were the first and are the largest Dolphin dealer in NSW with a full service facility and full range of spare parts "on the shelf". We also provide on site…read more
revolutioniseSPORT is the emerging market leader in online club management in Australia. Whether it is memberships, registrations, events, online sales or governance tools - revolutioniseSPORT is the…read more
HTS Group Ltd provides a complete design, system integration, installation and maintenance package to the transportation, traffic engineering, parking and sports timing industries in New Zealand,…read more
Augmented Creative is an open organization of like-minded and highly dedicated, creative people who conceive, plan and execute visual solutions. We pursue new and innovative visual ideas to help…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!