Victorian Police Minister Lisa Neville intends to drive legislative changes to grant police more powers to stop and search patrons at dance and music festivals in rural Victoria.

Her plans were revealed a week ago in the Herald Sun, which coupled this with a supportive opinion piece backing this “welcome step”, using terms such as “insidious scourge”, “much-needed extra deterrent”, “tragically predictable mass overdoses”, and “dangerous drug abuse” in just the first three sentences.

“This is about protecting lives and ensuring music festivals are great places for young people to get together,” explains Police Minister Neville, “not places that set the scene for tragedies.”

The Herald Sun bats away any outcry at the breach of privacy, obvious risk of profiling, and any other objections as the reaction of “civil libertarians”, who “will no doubt cry foul” over such arbitrary searches. “Frankly, the minute a drug user puts an illicit substance in their wallet or handbag, they lose their right to privacy” they reason.

Harm Reduction Victoria is vehemently against such drug policies, and takes issue at how such news was seemingly buried.