Pressure is mounting on state governments' to dump a zero-tolerance approach to drugs and agree to pill testing trials after a string of suspected overdose deaths.
In Victoria, an inner-Melbourne council wants permission to run pill testing and about half of the state's upper house crossbench are united in support, while in NSW a Greens MP says blanket prohibition is encouraging overdoses.
Port Phillip council, which includes the popular St Kilda entertainment district, is calling on the Victorian Labor government to allow and help fund drug testing at participating venues.
"Two years ago the Port Phillip council said that we supported the use of a trial. Since then there's been a bitter harvest of dead bodies around the country," Mayor Dick Gross told the Nine Network on Monday.
"It's unacceptable that governments turn their back on this any more and I know that it is revolting to some people that we would aid and abet pill taking."
The call follows multiple suspected overdose deaths at Australian music festivals this summer.
Mr Gross said the prohibition model had failed and acknowledged testing was not a panacea for all drug deaths.
It's a call mirrored by about half of the new 11-member upper house cross bench.
"We may all be coming from very diverse areas and representing different parts of the community, but here is an area we can all agree on - pill testing works and we must have a trial urgently," Reason Party MP Fiona Patten said.
Liberal Democrats MP David Limbrick said there needed to be drug law reform.
"Pill testing is a technology, prohibiting access to that technology is causing harm for people, we want people to have more access to information that will help them reduce harm when they consume substances," he told reporters.
NSW Greens MP Cate Faehrmann on Monday admitted to taking drugs occasionally since her 20s and demanded other politicians "get real" about it.
"The government's zero-tolerance approach to drugs has not only been a catastrophic failure in stopping drug use, it is costing people their lives," Ms Faehrmann wrote in an opinion piece published in The Sydney Morning Herald.
She said policing and sniffer dogs led to people taking more than one pill at a time to avoid detection.
But the Victorian Labor government and NSW conservative government are not conceding.
"Victoria Police gives very firm advice on the matter of pill testing to the Victorian government about the false and the potentially fatal outcomes that can come as a result of a pill testing regime," acting Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan told reporters.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said pill testing could not guarantee the drug would not kill someone, even if it was pure MDMA.
Australian Associated Press