“The Assembly has made a clear statement to the Federal Parliament that it is time that to repeal this out-of-date restriction - which was imposed for purely political purposes - and give the people of Canberra the same rights as other Australians,” said ACT Greens MLA, Shane Rattenbury.
“I’d encourage all ACT residents to make their views known to the Federal Government as well. People in the ACT are the same as anyone else in Australia, they face the same choices at the end of their life, they suffer the same as anyone else, yet they don’t have a right for their own Parliament to consider the euthanasia issue.
“The people of the ACT should have the same rights as other citizens. The Commonwealth restriction discriminates against the Territories and treats the people of the ACT as second class citizens.
“The capable and democratically elected government of the ACT should be able to implement the views of the people they represent on this issue, just as any State government can.
“It disturbs me that the ACT Liberal party has passionately argued that the ACT’s parliament shouldn’t have the right to legislate, that it is somehow incapable, and that the people of the ACT that we represent somehow aren’t worthy of having the same rights of other Australians.
“Legalising voluntary euthanasia in the ACT would, of course, involve extensive community consultation, input from experts and no doubt vigorous debate in the Assembly – all of the parliamentary and community engagement mechanisms that are appropriate for such an important change. At the moment we are not even permitted to undertake this process,” said Mr Rattenbury.