Our Summer 2020/21 Newsletter aims to bring everyone up-to-date with the latest developments from across Australia and around the world.
It has been an eventful and exciting few months for the dying with dignity movement in Australia and New Zealand with a series of “firsts” giving a big boost to the prospects for voluntary assisted dying laws in Australia.
On 17 October, New Zealanders voted YES in a referendum to pass their End of Life Choice Act into law. Despite a bitter campaign by religious opponents, the referendum passed comfortably with 65% support.
Queenslanders went to the polls on 18 October and the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk used her campaign launch to announce that, if re-elected, her Government would introduce an assisted dying bill to parliament in early 2021.
On Friday 4 December Tasmanian lower house MPs voted 17 – 7 for the End of Life Choices (Voluntary Assisted Dying) Bill 2020 to proceed to the committee stage of the debate. Labor and the Greens voted unanimously in support of the bill, and for the first time on this issue, Liberal MPs were allowed a ‘true’ conscience vote resulting in six Liberals voting in support of the law reform including the Premier, Peter Gutwein, deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff and the Health Minister, Sarah Courtney.
South Australia became the latest state to introduce assisted dying legislation when on 2 December a VAD bill was tabled in both houses of Parliament. It is expected to be debated in early 2021.
Last but not least, on Sunday 13 December, in response to the growing momentum for change, independent Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich announced that he will begin the process of drafting legislation and getting the issue of voluntary assisted dying back on the parliamentary agenda in New South Wales.
Click to download – Dying with Dignity NSW Summer 2020/21 newsletter