E-petition on voluntary assisted dying laws
25 Aug 2021
When COTA NT was in Katherine for its first Seniors Expo in March this year, the organisation brought with it paper copies of a petition it was submitting to the House of Representatives regarding the repeal of Section 50A of the Self Government Act.
The repeal of Section 50A of the Northern Territory (Self Government) Act 1978 would allow the NT Legislature to enact laws dealing with voluntary assisted dying. Some 20 weeks later, the petition is now drawing to a close. However, COTA NT submitted a request for the petition to be published online as a e-petition for four weeks on the Parliament of Australia’s website. It will
be available for anyone to sign until 1st September.
“COTA NT’s Petition to the House of Representatives regarding the repeal of Section 50A of the Self Government Act went live on the Parliament of Australia’s website on 4th August at www.aph.gov.au/e-petitions/etition/EN3052,” said Principal Petitioner, Sue Shearer, CEO of COTA NT. “We now have until noon on the 1st of September to accrue as many signatures as possible.
“This e-Petition is supported by a print Petition which has also attracted hundreds of signatures including those collected in Katherine in March. We wanted to use a two-pronged approach to this petition,” added Shearer. “We are particularly mindful that not all Territorians have easy access to the Internet. COTA NT volunteers and staff have been taking the paper Petition out to our events and workshops for over 20 weeks. “This e-petition is another way to draw attention to the discrimination that Territorians are feeling.”At present we can’t even have the debate regarding assisted dying laws, and we are being treated like second-class citizens. We urge all House of Representative members to recognise that this is not a debate about euthanasia for them, but about the Territories’ rights to make decisions for themselves. “We want the House of Representatives to vote to repeal Section 50(A). It is straightforward and we urge all Territorians and Australians to sign COTA NT’s e- petition.” The digital and paper petitions will be presented to the House of Representatives in September.