Western Australia set to legalise voluntary euthanasia

An anti euthanasia rally in Perth in September (The eRecord)

Western Australia is set to become the second state to legalise voluntary euthanasia after proposed laws passed the upper house of Parliament yesterday. Source: ABC News.

The controversial Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill is now destined to become law within days after being passed 24 votes to 11.

Legislative Council MPs voted in favour of the government's legislation after weeks of prolonged debate, amid accusations of filibustering and bullying.

The bill will now return to the Legislative Assembly next week for a final vote on amendments introduced in the upper house.

Premier Mark McGowan was unrepentant for the pressure he applied to the Opposition, and in particular Liberal MP and strident critic of the bill Nick Goiran, to push the bogged-down legislation along in the upper house.

"Sometimes to make an omelette you have to break a few eggs," Mr McGowan said.

"I wanted to see this get to a vote, because if it just went on for endless debate, we'd never achieve it.

"And I think that was the aim of perhaps one member of the upper house."

Legislative Council MPs spent almost 102 hours on speeches and the consideration-in-detail phase, where each of the 186 clauses was debated.

Mr Goiran spoke on every one of the clauses, prompting extended sitting hours that triggered the ire of Mr McGowan and upper house Leader Sue Ellery. Of the 55 amendments which were passed, 25 were Mr Goiran's.

The government had insisted the legislation was sound and did not need amending when it came to the upper house. It has dismissed most of the changes as inconsequential and not impacting the operation or the integrity of the bill.

The legislation should easily clear its last hurdle, when MPs return to the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday for a special sitting to vote on the 55 amendments.

The bill sailed through the lower house when it was initially introduced there, although it is understood one Labor MP planned to speak on every amendment, and Mr McGowan has warned there may not be a vote until Thursday.

FULL STORY

Voluntary euthanasia bill passes WA Upper House with laws set to take hold within days (ABC News)

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