- Parliamentary Business
- Senators and Members
- News & Events
- About Parliament
- Visit Parliament
RESTORING TERRITORY RIGHTS (VOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA LEGISLATION) BILL 2010
- Parl No.
- Question No.
Brown, Sen Bob
- System Id
Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Table Of ContentsDownload Current Hansard View/Save XML
Previous Fragment Next Fragment
- Start of Business
- GOVERNOR-GENERAL’S SPEECH
MATTERS OF PUBLIC INTEREST
- Blessed Mary MacKillop
- Radioactive Waste Management
- Emissions Trading Scheme
- Senate Select Committee on Agricultural and Related Industries: Report on the Incidence and Severity of Bushfires Across Australia
- MINISTERIAL ARRANGEMENTS
- DISTINGUISHED VISITORS
QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
(Abetz, Sen Eric, Evans, Sen Chris, Evans, Sen Chris (Leader of the Government in the Senate))
(Crossin, Sen Trish, Wong, Sen Penny)
Building the Education Revolution Program
(Mason, Sen Brett, Evans, Sen Chris)
Kakadu National Park
(Brown, Sen Bob, Conroy, Sen Stephen)
Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers
(Fifield, Sen Mitchell, Evans, Sen Chris)
(Sterle, Sen Glenn, Sherry, Sen Nick)
(Cash, Sen Michaelia, Carr, Sen Kim)
(Fielding, Sen Steve, Ludwig, Sen Joe)
(Boswell, Sen Ron, Wong, Sen Penny)
(Bilyk, Sen Catryna, Conroy, Sen Stephen)
- Gillard Government
- QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE: TAKE NOTE OF ANSWERS
- LAW AND JUSTICE LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (IDENTITY CRIMES AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2010
- SERVICE AND EXECUTION OF PROCESS AMENDMENT (INTERSTATE FINE ENFORCEMENT) BILL 2010
- AVIATION CRIMES AND POLICING LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2010
- CRIMES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2010
- WATER EFFICIENCY LABELLING AND STANDARDS AMENDMENT BILL 2010
- NATIONAL MEASUREMENT AMENDMENT BILL 2010
- CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
- NATIONAL CARERS WEEK
- POKER MACHINE (REDUCED LOSSES—INTERIM MEASURES) BILL 2010
- RADIOACTIVE WASTE
- ASYLUM SEEKERS
OMBUDSMAN AMENDMENT (EDUCATION OMBUDSMAN) BILL 2010
COMMONWEALTH COMMISSIONER FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE BILL 2010
COMMONWEALTH RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT (REPEAL AND CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENT) BILL 2010
ANTI-TERRORISM LAWS REFORM BILL 2010
FAMILIES, HOUSING, COMMUNITY SERVICES AND INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS AND OTHER LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (RESTORATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT) BILL 2010
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY (RESTORING WORKPLACE RIGHTS) BILL 2010
ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AND BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AMENDMENT (PROHIBITION OF SUPPORT FOR WHALING) BILL 2010
SAFE CLIMATE (ENERGY EFFICIENT NON-RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS SCHEME) BILL 2010
RENEWABLE ENERGY AMENDMENT (FEED-IN-TARIFF FOR ELECTRICITY) BILL 2010
- AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY (SELF-GOVERNMENT) AMENDMENT (DISALLOWANCE AND AMENDMENT POWER OF THE COMMONWEALTH) BILL 2010
- PREVENTING THE MISUSE OF GOVERNMENT ADVERTISING BILL 2010
- RESTORING TERRITORY RIGHTS (VOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA LEGISLATION) BILL 2010
- MARRIAGE EQUALITY AMENDMENT BILL 2010
- ASYLUM SEEKERS
- EVIDENCE AMENDMENT (JOURNALISTS’ PRIVILEGE) BILL 2010
- JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON MIGRATION
- MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
- AUDITOR-GENERAL’S REPORTS
- GOVERNOR-GENERAL’S SPEECH
- QUESTIONS ON NOTICE
Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Senator BOB BROWN (Leader of the Australian Greens) (4:15 PM) —I present the explanatory memorandum and I move:
That this bill be now read a second time.
I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated in Hansard.
The speech read as follows—
This is a bill for an Act to restore the rights of the Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory and Norfolk Island legislative assemblies to make laws for the peace, order and good government of their territories, including their right to legislate for voluntary euthanasia. The bill repeals the Euthanasia Laws Act 1997, through which the national parliament overturned this right, and specifically, the Northern Territory’s Rights of the Terminally Ill Act 1995.
In February 2008, I introduced a bill, The Rights of the Terminally Ill (Euthanasia Laws Repeal) Bill 2008, to the Senate. The bill was the subject of a Senate Committee inquiry by the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee. The inquiry received over eighteen hundred submissions from individuals, academics and community organisations and held public hearings in Darwin and Sydney. The report of that Committee recommended a number of amendments which have been adopted in the Restoring Territory Rights (Voluntary Euthanasia Legislation) Bill 2008.
In particular it should be noted that this bill does not restore the Northern Territory Rights of the Terminally Ill Act 1995. It does however restore the rights of the Northern Territory legislature to make laws about voluntary euthanasia in the future.
In 1995, the Parliament of the Northern Territory passed a law which reflected not only the will of Northern Territorians, but also the strongly held views of the majority of all Australians. Every opinion poll conducted over the last two decades has shown that approximately three-quarters of Australians support the concept of voluntary euthanasia. A poll conducted by Roy Morgan in June 2002 found that seventy percent of those surveyed thought the law should be changed to allow a hopelessly ill patient to seek assistance from a doctor to commit suicide; and seventy-eight percent thought the law should be changed so that it is no longer an offence to be present at such a suicide. A Newspoll in February 2007 found that eighty percent of Australians believe that terminally ill people should have a right to choose a medically assisted death. This poll also found that twenty two percent of respondents nationally have had a personal experience of a close relative or friend being hopelessly ill and wanting voluntary euthanasia. It has been consistently reported that each year hundreds of terminally ill people are assisted to an early and dignified death by compassionate medical professionals.
In the decade since the Euthanasia Laws Act was introduced here, the legal right to die with dignity has been available to the citizens of The Netherlands, Belgium, Oregon in the United States, Israel and Albania. In Switzerland, assisted suicide has been legal since 1918. Introduction of such laws has not led to a significant increase in the number of people choosing this option. For example in The Netherlands after an initial increase the percentage of deaths as a result of euthanasia, the number has decreased from 2.6% in 2001 to 1.7% in 2005. In Oregon, according to the health department annual report, an average of 29 individuals has died each year as a result of their Death with Dignity Act - in a population of 3.5 million.
In 1995 the Northern Territory Assembly led the way in Australia by giving its citizens the option to end their suffering with dignity and medical support. In 1997, Canberra removed that right. This bill will redress that action and restore the legislative rights of the governments of the Northern Territory, the ACT and Norfolk Island to make decisions that both affect their citizens and reflect their views and concerns. In so doing, it reflects the heartfelt views of the majority of Australians on this important issue.
I commend the bill to the Senate.
Ordered that the bills be listed on the Notice Paper as seperate orders of the day.