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Euthanasia debate must go ahead in full, and in the open

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Duncan Kerr m h r Federal Member for Denison

Shadow Minister for Immigration

and AssistantrothelaaoeroftheOpposition

on Multicultural Affairs

188 Collins St. Hobart 7000

Ph (03162 345 255 Fax 103) 62 238 $ 0

GPO Box 32A Hobart Tas.7001

2 OCTOBER 199fi


The euthanasia debate is too important to be sent off to a back room at Parliament House where it can be hidden from view, and also from Members who may wish to weigh up the relative arguments before finally settling on their position.

The notice of motion submitted by the Leader of the House, Peter Reith, proposing to move debate on the Euthanasia Laws Bill 1996 to the Main Committee and limit most speakers to 10 minutes, is a defilement of the processes of the Parliament.

I have written to all Members of the House of Representatives, urging them to vote against Mr Reith’s proposal.

Attachments: Mr Reith’s notice of motion

Mr Kerr’s letter to the Chief Opposition Whip expressing his anger at the proposal.


Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Telephone (06) 277 2178

Duncan Kerr mnr

2 October 1996 Federal Member for Denison

Shadow Minister tor Immigration

and Assistant to the Leader of the Opposition

on Multicultural Affairs

Leo McLeay Chief Opposition Whip Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600 188 Collins S t Hobart 7000

Fh (03) 62 345 Z55 Fax (03) 62 238 560

Dear Leo GPO 8ox 32A Hobart Tas. 7001

I have your letter of 1 October advising of the notice of motion submitted by the Leader of the House, Peter Reith, which proposes to move debate on the Euthanasia Laws Bill 1996 from the House of Representatives to the Main Committee and limit most speakers to 10


As you know there are many members with views on either side of this issue who would regard this as a complete defilement of the proper role of the Parliament. The Main Committee is intended for non-controversial legislation, which by agreement of all members, can be dealt with outside the House so the business of the Parliament doesn’t get choked.

It should not be the forum for debate on an issue which is amongst the most controversial that will be debated in the life of this Parliament and during which many members may wish to listen to weigh arguments

before voting on an issue where no member is bound by a party caucus. This cannot happen in the Main Committee.

I am personally angry at this contempt for the views of significant numbers of members of the Parliament. As all matters associated with this, including procedural issues have been declared issues of conscience, l am writing to all members of the House urging them to

exercise their right to oppose this quite unprecedented attack on the rights of members'and the House.


Duncan Kerr MP Member for Denison

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Telephone (06) 277 2178

REPRESENTATIVES ?4464 Thursday, 19 September 1996

M r ACTING SPEAKER—I did not hear the m sm bitr's rem arks, but if it is offensive to the

lonotoable member for Cunningham I ask you to ivididrtw.

M r w julNDSAY-—I did not mention anybody's name, (n fact! I am going to refer to Mr Laurie Btereton. M r ACTING SPEAKER—You will net refer to him as M r Laurie Brercton. You will refer to him as the honourable member for Kingsford»Smi*.

M r M artin—M r Acting Speaker, I take a point of order again. The honourable member did say in his opening remarks that particular members on this side put out particular press releases which made certain points about him, which quite clearly reflects on the

honourable member for Klngsford-Smith. If he docs go this way, I would ask him to be very careful or we will ask for a withdrawal. M r ACTING SPEAKER—I thank the honourable member.

M r LINDSAY— In the short amount of time that is left to me—(Quorum formed} I can but wish the House a very pleasant weekend in the time remaining to me. M r Acting Speaker, I thank you for your wise guidance through die week. You have been a superb Acting Speaker this week.

In the IS seconds left to me, I will just say that the information in this press release is disgraceful. It will come out next week. Have a good weekend every­ body,

M r ACTING SPEAKER—Order! It being 6 P m., the debate is interrupted. House adjourned at 6 pmi.


M r Keith to move: That so much c f the standing and sessional order* be impended ai would prevent die following axm gw neau applying in relation to the Euthanasia Laws Bill 1996 unless [he House otherwise orders:

(1) order of the day No. IS, private Members' business, namely the motion for the second reading o f die Bill being called oa immediately prior to grievance on Monday. 28 October 1996. and debate eanrfniilhg fix

1 hour and 30 minutes; the mover of the motion for die second reading of the Bill and the neat 3 Members speaking each speaking for a period not exceeding 15 minutes and the debate then being adjourned; (2) at the conclusion of the proceedings on the Bill in the

House on Monday. 28 October 1996, the Bill being referred to the Main Committee for die remainder of the second reading stage up to but not Including the putting of any uuertion* ar the conclusion o f the debate: (3) in speaking to the motion for the second reading o f the

Bill in the Main Committee each Member speaking for a period not «receding 10 minuter, (4) during consideration of the Bill in the Main Committee the quorum of the Committee being three Members

comprising «he occupant o f A* Chair and two other Members, and (5) the Main Committee continuing debate on the Bill regardless of any unresolved questions,


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