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Parliament House in Darwin (Wikipedia/Dietmar Rabich)

If a bill to legalise euthanasia was presented to the Northern Territory Parliament today, only 40 per cent of NT politicians would actively support it. Source: NT News.

Chief Minister Eva Lawler and Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro have both committed their parties to a free vote, allowing members to be guided by their conscience when a voluntary assisted dying bill is presented.

The NT and ACT are the only places in Australia without VAD laws, after a 26-year-old federal gag order on debating the right to die in Territory parliaments was lifted last year.

The NT News asked all members of parliament if they personally support VAD legislation.

Eleven members — 44 per cent of the chamber — confirmed they supported the “right to die”, if the appropriate safeguards were in place.

Only one member opposed any VAD proposal, with Araluen MLA Robyn Lambley stating: “I certainly will not be supporting any ill-conceived bill that entertains some perverse views of the NT Labor Government”.

Twelve MLAs said they were undecided and would await further consultation with their electorate before stating their views and one MP failed to respond. 

Country Liberal Party leader Ms Finocchiaro was undecided, but added the VAD advisory panel’s survey had raised some “serious alarm bells as to the scope” of any future bill.

The survey asked about eligibility requirements, the appropriate checks and balances, ethical considerations for medical professionals and, controversially, if people with a mental health condition should be able to access VAD.

But Ms Lawler, who supports voluntary assisted dying, said any proposed bill would come with “water tight and strict guidelines”.


ALP and CLP have committed to a conscience vote on a future Voluntary Assisted Dying (By Zizi Averill, NT News)