Federal Labor will facilitate a vote on territory rights if it wins government at the next election, paving the way for the ACT and Northern Territory to legalise euthanasia. Source: Canberra Times.
The new position commits Labor to a conscience vote on repealing the Andrews Bill – named after Liberal MP Kevin Andrews – that has prevented the territories from making their own euthanasia laws for nearly 25 years.
The “vast majority” of Labor’s caucus would vote for the repeal the bill, MPs were told during a party meeting yesterday.
A bill before the current Parliament by Coalition senator for the Northern Territory Sam McMahon to restore rights for her territory but not the ACT was poorly drafted, MPs were told. Labor will vote against the McMahon bill.
All territory MPs will be consulted on amendments the parliament debates on the McMahon bill in the current Parliament, the party room resolved.
Jason Clare, Labor’s spokesperson on territory matters, said a Labor government would facilitate the introduction, debate and vote of a standalone bill covering both the Northern Territory and the ACT.
Since a cross-party conscience vote in federal Parliament in 2018 rejected repeal bill from former senator David Leyonhjelm, every state has dealt with the issue of euthanasia independently of the Commonwealth. Euthanasia is now legal in five states, all but New South Wales.
Federal Labor pledges territory rights vote if it wins government (By Harley Dennett, Canberra Times)