The Coalition is trying to amend a bill allowing the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory to make euthanasia legal so safeguards are in place should the territories win the ability to end people’s lives. Source: The Australian.
The Senate voted yesterday in favour of the second reading of the Restoring Territory Rights Bill by 41 to 25.
A motion for the bill to move to a final vote put by ACT independent senator David Pocock did not pass because Coalition senators wished to speak on the matter and possibly move amendments.
Deputy manager of opposition business Jonathon Duniam revealed the amendments were not ready and needed to be drafted.
He said the amendments would prevent people under the age of 18 from being offered euthanasia. The amendments would also go to what medications were able to be used in the procedure itself.
Senator Duniam said there would be “consequences” to the bill being passed that needed to be mitigated. “(The amendments) are not spurious nothings, they are significant issues,” he said.
Senator Pocock accused the Coalition of seeking to delay the bill, which has been scheduled for the second last day of the final sitting fortnight this year for further debate.
Finance Minister and ACT senator Katy Gallagher explained that Labor voted against Senator Pocock’s attempt to bring on a final vote because it was bound to ensure conscience votes were not “guillotined or cut short”.
Coalition thwarts David Pocock push on territory rights (By Sarah Ison, The Australian)
Territory rights fight all but won as opponents concede defeat (Canberra Times)