Tara's Thoughts

One year since the Senate vote on Territory rights

August 15, 2019

Today marks one year since the Senate voted on whether our Territory rights should be restored.

And they voted no. 34-36.

As a result, we continue to have no power in our parliament to consider making laws related to voluntary assisted dying.

I was devastated. I remain devastated. 

Devastated for Canberra citizens who are sick of being treated as second-class. 

Devastated for people who are genuinely suffering, and their families. 

Devastated for all those who want to have choice and control throughout their lives, including at the end of their lives.

The next day we passed a remonstrance, damning the Senate for its cowardice. A first for the ACT Legislative Assembly. 

By the end of the year the Chief Minister had secured the federal ALP's agreement to support the ACT's right to determine our laws on voluntary assisted dying for ourselves.

We handed down our committee report into end of life choices, and flagged what considerations could be given to a scheme - if the ACT is ever in a position to legislate for one.

Victoria's legislation has since come into effect, with the first person accessing the scheme - a mother from Bendigo - in July.

Western Australia's parliament looks set to pass its own voluntary assisted dying laws soon.

And Queensland is continuing to conduct a far-reaching inquiry into it.

It's not fair to restrict our legislative rights. It's never been fair.

And I haven't given up. We haven't given up.

Are you with us?