Chief Minister says NT should have right to decide

Michael Gunner (ABC News/Bridget Judd)

Chief Minister Michael Gunner has launched a bold bid to force the Morrison Government to overturn Commonwealth laws blocking the Northern Territory from having the freedom to vote on euthanasia legislation. Source: News.com.au.

Both the NT and the ACT are unable to rule on the controversial issue of euthanasia due to a 1997 private member’s bill introduced by Victorian Liberal MP Kevin Andrews, but states can.

But Mr Gunner said the sensitive issue should be a matter for Territorians to debate and vote on, “not Canberra politicians”.

Mr Gunner has written to both Prime Minister Scott Morrison as well the Opposition Leader and Labor ally Anthony Albanese demanding the federal law be changed.

Euthanasia was legal in the NT between 1996 and 1997 before the Howard government stepped in and took the power away from the jurisdiction.

The territory’s opposition leader, Country Liberal Party’s Lia Finocchiaro, confirmed the party supports the bid.

Meanwhile, the South Australian Parliament is also considering euthanasia legislation, The Advertiser reports.

Proposed new laws to regulate access to euthanasia in the state were introduced to Parliament by Labor MPs Kyam Maher and Dr Susan Close in December.

Under the proposed SA law, access to euthanasia will be given to a person living in SA for at least 12 months, who is aged 18 or more, and is diagnosed with an incurable disease, illness or medical condition that is advanced, progressive and will cause death within weeks or months and is causing suffering that cannot be relieved.

Lobby groups for and against the bill have begun contacting local MPs for support.

FULL STORY

NT chief minister Michael Gunner wants power to vote on assisted dying legislation (By James Hall, News.com.au)

Assisted dying, abortion and prostitution law reform – tough decisions face our politicians in 2021. How should they vote?) (By Rebecca DiGirolamo and Gabriel Polychronis, The Advertiser)

RELATED COVERAGE

Northern Territory senator Malarndirri McCarthy says it's 'beyond time' for NT to make its own laws on assisted dying (ABC News

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