NSW euthanasia group 'vote blitz' warning

·2-min read

NSW euthanasia advocates with "passionate campaigners on the ground in every electorate" are warning they will throw "significant resources" at upcoming by-elections if debate on voluntary assisted dying laws is delayed.

"Every day that NSW parliament plays games and delays this bill, more terminally ill people will have to suffer cruel and agonising deaths," Dying With Dignity NSW President Penny Hackett says.

NSW is the only state that has not passed voluntary assisted dying laws.

Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland all passed laws this year. The territories are not permitted to enact euthanasia laws.

Ms Hackett says her organisation has been building its "grassroots campaigning capacity" for more than a year and warned it would launch "a major by-election blitz" if the bill is not debated beforehand.

No date has been set for a number of NSW by-elections that have to be held in Bega, Willoughby, Holsworthy, Strathfield, and Monaro, following a number of resignations.

Ms Hackett has called on Premier Dominic Perrottet and Opposition Leader Chris Minns "to do the right thing and allow a genuine debate on this important bill" before the end of the week.

Last month, Mr Perrottet said parliament would be "allocating a substantial amount of time for that debate to occur this year, in a respectful way" and that he would not tolerate filibustering on the bill.

Mr Minns said the opposition would support parliament sitting two additional days to make time for the debate and "it shouldn't come down to whether parliamentary shenanigans stop the voluntary assisted dying bill from going ahead or not".

Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich, who introduced the bill to parliament, on Tuesday said NSW had "fallen behind the rest of Australia" and "the public expects their elected representatives to get on with their job, debate the bill and get this reform through parliament".

"I urge all of my colleagues: no more stalling and no more games," he said.

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