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Euthanasia debate should go on now, but 90 minutes debate on Euthanasia in house of representatives a national disgrace



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M E D I A S T A T E M E N S te p h e n S m ith MP - s L a i 3 ^ o f W o ^ r -

M em ber for P e rth

EUTHANASIA DEBATE SHOULD GO ON NOW, BUT 90 MINUTES DEBATE ON EUTHANASIA IN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES A NATIONAL DISGRACE

Member for Perth, Stephen Smith, today said that the House of Representatives should deal with the Euthanasia Laws Bill as soon as possible.

"I support Kevin Andrews' Bill and will vote for it on Division. I will also vote against any move to refer the Bill to a Select Committee or to discharge the Bill from the Notice Paper," said Mr Smith.

"All these matters, however, should be determined in their entirety in the House itself.

"The Government's allocation of ninety minutes only in the House of Representatives for debate on the Euthanasia Laws Bill before referral to the Main Committee is a national disgrace.

"It is a national disgrace that the Government proposes th at such a controversial piece of legislation be debated by 6 only of the 148 Members of the House of Representatives before referral of the Bill to the sideshow alley which the Main Committee is.

"The standing and dignity of the Parliament and the national interest require th a t the Bill be debated in the House.

Mr Smith said th a t under current arrangements as a m atter of principle he did not propose to speak in the debate on the Bill itself in either the House or the Main Committee.

"I don't seek to be one of the 6 in the House on Monday, thereby excluding 142 of my colleagues, and I certainly don't propose to be a 'second class Member' by debating euthanasia in sideshow alley.

"I will continue to pursue every procedural mechanism available to have the debate conducted in the House."

Ends.

27 October 1996

Media Contafet: Stephen Smith (09) 272 2336 COMMONWEALTH Li AMENTARY LIBRARY