The devastated mother of a young man who died at a NSW music festival after taking MDMA has warned the eagerly-anticipated results of a coroner’s inquest into his death and five others “must not be ignored”.
Mr Tam's mother Julie Tam said her son and the five other young adults who died must be "the faces of change" when the inquest’s hearings closed.
"I wish one reckless moment of abandonment hadn't brought about these tragic results, but that the six of you were meant to create a ripple so far and so wide that this changing landscape cannot and must not be ignored," she told the inquest.
"Those that stand in the way of change please step aside ... I don't believe that political parties should be involved in decisions like these at all. Re-election should not influence important reforms."
NSW deputy coroner Harriet Grahame is expected to call for changes to the state's approach to illicit drugs.
The six festivalgoers – all under 24 and from NSW, Victoria or Queensland – died after taking MDMA capsules at or shortly before attending music festivals between December 2017 and January 2019.
At the inquest Ms Grahame heard from the parents and friends of Mr Tam, Nathan Tran, Alex Ross-King, Diana Nguyen, Joseph Pham, Joshua Tam and Callum Brosnan, as well as police and emergency services and an extensive list of drug experts.
Many at the inquest called for medically supervised drug checking, a police focus on harm reduction and high school illicit drug lessons that go beyond "just say no".
Ms Grahame's draft recommendations, leaked to The Daily Telegraph in October, indicated she was on the same page.
The coroner is also expected to call on NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to host a drug summit to review evidence and develop human rights-based policies towards illicit substances.
She made the same call in March after overseeing an inquest into the accidental overdose deaths of five men and one woman as a result of heroin or multi-drug toxicity in 2016.
At the time Ms Grahame said lowering the rate of opioid overdose was clearly achievable but would "require a government willing to listen to health experts and to act decisively on their advice".
Ms Berejiklian has been steadfast in refusing to facilitate pill testing in NSW.
Instead, her government has focused on ensuring high-risk festivals meet stringent safety standards, taking steps to increase emergency service numbers and provide free, chilled water.
The inquest, held this year, also exposed NSW police strip search procedures, with a tearful young women detailing how she was ordered to squat and cough while naked, and had been wrongly accused of hiding drugs.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.