Read the full letter PN0527 – Ministerial response here..
26 July 2022- A bill to overturn a federal ban on the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory passing voluntary assisted dying laws will be introduced to parliament on 1 August, setting up the first conscience vote of the new government.
It’s understood the bill will be formally introduced into the lower house on Monday by Luke Gosling, the MP for the NT electorate of Solomon. It will be seconded by Alicia Payne who is the Member for the ACT electorate of Canberra. The legislation would reverse a 25-year ban on the territories enacting assisted dying laws which began in 1997 after the Howard government overturned the NT’s 1995 legislation.
It will be the third time Gosling has introduced a territory rights bill into parliament – with his previous attempts being unsuccessful. Labor will grant members a conscience vote on the issue.
4 April 2022 – The private member’s Bill, Ensuring Northern Territory Rights Bill 2021 introduced by Senator Sam McMahon seeking to amend the Northern Territory Self Government Act to remove limits on the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly’s powers to make laws in relation to voluntary assisted dying is currently before the Senate.
“…The Australian Government recognises members of the community have strong views about dying with dignity, compassion and with minimal pain. The Australian Government believes people should have access to quality palliative care and relief from pain and suffering and, where possible, people should be able to choose the extent of active medical treatment they receive. The underlying principle of our investment in health services is quality of life, and this includes during end of life care.
The Australian Government does not intend to introduce legislation to repeal the Euthanasia Laws Act 1997 (Cth) that inserted provisions preventing the Northern Territory from legislating to permit euthanasia. I note on 4 August 2021, Senator Sam McMahon introduced the Ensuring Northern Territory Rights Bill 2021 into Parliament This private members’ bill seeks to amend the Northern Territory Self Government Act to remove limits on the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly’s powers to make laws in relation to a range of matters, including voluntary assisted dying. The Bill is currently before the Senate…“
15 February 2022 – The petition (PN0527 submitted on 24 November 2021) was considered at a recent meeting of the Committee, and certified as meeting the requirements for petitions. It was presented to the House on 14/02/2022 and has recently been referred to the Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories. Under the petition requirements, Ministers have 90 days from presentation in the House to respond to a petition.
22 November 2021 – Today in the Federal Parliament Luke Gosling MP tabled the COTA NT
petition that many Territorians signed, calling for full Territory Rights through the repeal of the Andrews Bill.
- Petition EN3052 on the House of Representatives’ website closed 1 September.
- 707 people signed the Petition online.
- COTA NT is collating all the signed paper petitions and will be submitting to the House of Representatives following conversation with the local Federal Member.
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Repeal Section 50A of the Northern Territory (Self Government) Act 1978 to allow the NT to enact laws dealing with voluntary assisted dying
COTA NT’s petition calls on Federal Government to give back to the Northern Territory the right to enact laws dealing with voluntary assisted dying, hence the petition for section 50A of the Northern Territory (Self Government) Act 1978 to be repealed.
Read the Petition To Repeal Section 50A of the Northern Territory (Self Government) Act 1978 or click here to view full text.
To: The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives
Request: We therefore ask the House to give back to the Northern Territory the right to enact laws dealing with voluntary assisted dying. The Petitioners respectfully request the House to repeal section 50A of the Northern Territory (Self Government) Act 1978 so as to allow the NT Legislature to enact laws dealing with voluntary assisted dying.
Reason: In 1997, the Commonwealth Parliament inserted a clause into the ACT and NT’s Self-Government Acts which states that these two jurisdictions have no power to make laws with respect to voluntary assisted dying. This is unfair and unreasonable – and increasingly untenable – as states around the country are passing legislation in this area. Territory citizens are being denied their democratic rights and are disadvantaged on the basis of where they live. This situation should not be allowed to persist. The citizens of the Northern Territory deserve the same rights as any other Australian.
Principal Petitioner: Sue Shearer on behalf of COTA NT.
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** may be subject to change.
Updated: 14 September 2021