Creating a null reference exception

I would like to force a null reference exception at line 3. An exception is not occurring? I am trying to test some ideas for more secure code, as null reference frequently occurs during our scans. So how would I force a null reference exception at line 3 for strTest which is passed in by reference?

1  Private Sub GetStuff(ByRef strTest As String)
2  strTest = Nothing
3 Dim k As String = strTest
4 End Sub
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Shaun VermaakTechnical SpecialistCommented:
Private Sub GetStuff(ByRef strTest As String)
    If String.IsNullOrEmpty(strTest) Then
        Throw New System.Exception("An exception has occurred.")
    End If
    Dim k As String = strTest
End Sub

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Visual Basic.NET

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