COTA NT advocating for and working towards an age-friendly, just, inclusive and equitable society for all Territorians over 50
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.
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.
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voluntary assisted dying, hence the petition for section 50A of the Northern Territory (Self Government) Act 1978 to be repealed.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