ACT, NT in push for euthanasia laws

·1-min read

Federal Attorney-General Michaelia Cash is set to be pressed on why the government continues to block territories having the right to legislate on euthanasia.

Every state in Australia has either passed laws allowing voluntary assisted dying, except for NSW which has a bill currently before its parliament.

Territories were stripped of the right to do so by the Howard government in 1997.

The ACT and Northern Territory attorneys-general will raise the issue at Friday's meeting with their state and federal counterparts .

The ACT attorney-general has slammed the government's roadblock as a breach of human rights and being undemocratic.

"It's absolutely time these discriminatory restrictions were removed," Shane Rattenbury said.

"Residents of the territories are being treated as second-class citizens. If citizens of the states are allowed access to voluntary assisted dying schemes, citizens of the territories should also be allowed."

NT Attorney-General Selena Uibo said the repeal of the Howard era laws should not be controversial as any changes would not automatically legalise euthanasia.

It would simply give the territory parliaments the power to debate and consider the issue.

"This is about Territorians having the right to decide important issues for themselves, just like the rest of Australia," she said.

"The rest of the country isn't better than us and they shouldn't get to tell us what laws the territories can and can't pass."

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