Representatives from Dying with Dignity NSW have said they are prepared to throw significant resources into the upcoming by-election campaigns in 2022 if debate of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill in the Lower House is delayed because of political game playing.
Dying with Dignity called on the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition to allow debate to begin as planned and allow enough time for debate in the Lower House to conclude before the end of the year.
The announcement came on the back of a major ad launched in Sydney’s newspapers with the story of Judith Daley from Sydney, who has terminal lung cancer.
Dying with Dignity NSW President, Penny Hackett said “Every day that NSW Parliament plays games and delays this Bill, more terminally ill people will have to suffer cruel and agonising deaths.
“We have spent over a year building our grassroots campaigning capacity – and have passionate campaigners on the ground in every electorate in NSW.
“If this Lower House debate rolls into the by-election weekend then we will be launching a major by-election blitz to make it clear that this issue isn’t going away and political game playing will only make it worse.
“Our hope is that we won’t have to do this – if debate is wrapped up and the Bill is voted on before December. But if delaying tactics are employed, in an attempt to derail this much- needed reform, then our campaign will need to continue and we will aim to play a significant role in the by-elections.
“We’re calling on Premier Dominic Perrottet and Leader of the Opposition Chris Minns to do the right thing and allow a genuine debate on this important Bill.
“This Bill is about preventing terminally ill people from dying with extreme suffering – giving them the option to die with dignity.
“People in NSW are more passionate about this issue than ever before and we know that every single electorate has majority support for this reform. It’s time for MPs and party leaders to listen to their constituents and get this reform done.
“If debate on the voluntary assisted dying bill doesn’t start as planned on Friday 12 November – then we know that games are being played and we will be staring down the path of a major by-election campaign blitz.” Ms Hackett said.