STATEMENT ON RESTORING TERRITORY RIGHTS (DYING WITH DIGNITY) BILL 2016

I am pleased to support legislation to be introduced into the Senate that seeks to restore the rights of both territory parliaments to legislate on the issue of euthanasia.

I have consistently advocated for territory residents to be provided with the same democratic rights as all other Australians.

I have done this in my current role as Senator for the ACT but also in my former role as Chief Minister of the ACT.

I strongly believe that the people of the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory should have the same rights as every other Australian citizen, whether they live in Alice Springs, Brisbane, Hobart, Canberra or Queanbeyan.

As it stands now that is not the case and a twenty year old, outdated and paternalistic law which created a group of second class citizens should be repealed.

Importantly, this legislation does not compel either jurisdiction to legislate for voluntary euthanasia it simply allows the democratically elected parliaments of the NT and the ACT the ability to do so if they chose.

MONDAY, 29 FEBRUARY 2016

Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness and the Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on State and Territory Relations