Australian Greens health spokesperson, Senator Richard Di Natale, will today introduce the Restoring Territory Rights (Voluntary Euthanasia Legislation) Bill 2012, which would overturn a 15 year old private member’s bill by Kevin Andrews that banned the Northern Territory and ACT from legislating dying with dignity laws.
“This bill ensures that dying with dignity legislation is back on the national agenda,” said Dr Richard Di Natale.
“Many Australians would take comfort in knowing that they have some control over the way in which they die. More than 70 per cent of Australians support voluntary euthanasia but the fact that the old parties won't touch it shows just how out of touch they are with average Australians.
“This bill would restore the rights of the Territories to make their own laws regarding voluntary euthanasia. Any member of parliament who opposes this bill needs to explain why they think the residents of Australia’s territories don’t deserve the same rights as people in the rest of the country.
“Party politics need to be taken out of this issue. Fifteen years ago the Parliament had a conscience vote on the Kevin Andrews’ bill, and it is time we had that opportunity again.
“The Prime Minister has already indicated that she will allow the government a conscience vote, and Tony Abbott needs to follow John Howard's example and do the same.”
Media contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600