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Australian new minister speaks out on restoring territory rights on assisted dying

On June 8, speaking on the ABC’s Afternoon Briefing, the newly appointed Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories, Kristy McBain, said that she would work with the crossbench to repeal laws that prevent the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory from legalising VAD.

Since the Euthanasia Laws Act 1997 stripped the territories of their right to legislate for VAD, all the states have legalised the humane end-of-life option for terminally ill people, with New South Wales completing the picture in May.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the expanded crossbench and working with my own colleagues and the Senate to make sure that we can bring a private member’s bill, or a private senator’s bill, forward which would look at the repeal of these laws,” Minister McBain said in the ABC interview.

“I think there is probably a range of both ACT and Northern Territory members and senators who are keen to see this come forward. And I’d like to sit down with a lot of my colleagues and have a discussion about how they would like to see this proceed. In my mind, jurisdictions across the country have the ability to make laws in regards to assisted dying. And the ACT and the Northern Territory should be no different, if that’s the way their elected assemblies wish to go.”

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