Territorial rights bill to try to overturn Andrews bill and allow ACT, NT to debate voluntary assisted dying

In recent years, federal prohibition has seen the ACT and NT become outliers as states legalize voluntary assisted death, with NSW being the last to do so in May this year. The most recent vote to overturn the ban, in 2018, was narrowly defeated by 36 votes to 34. But the composition of parliament has changed significantly since then.

Payne said she was “optimistic” that the different Senate dynamics meant it would pass this time.

NT Coalition Senator Jacinta Price is the only federal representative from either territory to indicate she may not support the bill, saying she does not trust the Labor government of the United States. NT to consult with Indigenous communities when it came to legislating physician-assisted dying laws.

“I haven’t fully formed my decision,” Price said. “My concern about medical assistance in dying, which would be a decision the Territory would obviously have to make, is how the current [NT] The Labor government has conducted itself. I see them continuing to fail trying to support the lives of vulnerable Indigenous Australians. »

Within the ranks of the Labor Party, opposition is more likely to come from members aligned with the conservative Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association.

Leader of the “shoppies” group, Commerce Secretary Don Farrell and his allies Deborah O’Neill and Helen Polley voted against the repeal attempt in 2018, as did Senator Pat Dodson.


Farrell declined to comment. O’Neill said she would review the legislation “on its merits”, but she stood by her position expressed in the 2018 debate that “assisted suicide cannot…be safely legislated”. Polley and Dodson could not be reached for comment.

The recent federal election has seen the Senate become more progressive.

The ranks of the Greens have grown to 12 members, up from nine, all of whom are expected to back the bill. He will also have the backing of independent ACT senator David Pocock – who campaigned on land rights and defeated liberal Zed Seselja, a staunch opponent of voluntary euthanasia. On the coalition side, senior Liberal leaders Simon Birmingham and Marise Payne supported repeal of the bill in 2018 and are expected to be joined by fellow Liberals Andrew Bragg if they take the same position this time around.

Independent Tasmania Senator Jacqui Lambie, who was not in the Senate during the 2018 vote, announced that she would support the bill, as would her newly elected colleague Tammy Tyrrell.

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