Friday , May 7 2021

Teen, 17, charged with drug trafficking at the Rainbow Serpent Festival

The Balwyn North teenager charged with drug trafficking at the event was bailed to face the children's court at a later date.

Four others arrested on Saturday, including a female French national, have been remanded to appear at the Ballarat Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.

Ballarat Local Area Commander Inspector Dan Davison said another 11 offenders were arrested for possession of drugs and received either cannabis cautions or drug diversions.

"Those engaging in illegal activity can expect to be charged and evicted from the event," said Inspector Davison.

"We will continue to have a high visibility presence that will continue to detect and deter any illegal activity."

Detection dogs will also search people and vehicles during the festival and police patrols will target anti-social behavior.

Paramedics were called to the festival, about 50 kilometers from Ballarat, around 3.30am on Friday morning to reports of a man having an overdose. He was taken to the Ballarat Base Hospital in a critical condition.

On Friday night, two more festivalgoers were treated by paramedics and taken to Ballarat Base Hospital.

Police using a detective dog search cars at the Rainbow Serpent Festival for drugs.

Police using a detective dog search cars at the Rainbow Serpent Festival for drugs.Credit:Victoria Police

An Ambulance Victoria spokeswoman said a man aged in his 20s was treated for a suspected drug overdose. A second man, also in his 20s, was treated for a medical condition.

The festival has been marred by a series of serious incidents. On Thursday night, three festival goers were taken to the hospital after a small truck rolled onto their tent shortly after 4.30pm.

A man aged in his 30s was flown to The Alfred Hospital in a serious condition after suffering injuries to his chest, legs, hand and face. Two women were taken to Ballarat Base Hospital for treatment.

Rachel covers general and breaking news for The Age.

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