The big news of the month is Senator David Leyonhjelm's deal with the government to put the Restoring Territory Rights (Assisted Suicide Legislation) Bill on the agenda. It will be debated in the Senate from the 14th to 16th of August. If you'd like to follow the debate, you can do so online via the website of the Parliament of Australia.
If passed, this bill will allow the parliaments of the ACT and the NT to consider legislation for Voluntary Assisted Dying, a right they currently do not have. As you may be aware, the NT was the first area in Australia to implement legislation in 1997, which was subsequently revoked by the Commonwealth. If you haven't done so already, please contact your Federal Senator to let them you you want them to support this bill.
It's easy to do: All you need is your address to look up your Senators, write your message and press SEND. It will only take a minute and it's really important as they have already been bombarded with letters from the opposition. We need your voice!
Several State Dying with Dignity groups have also mounted campaigns, click on your relevant state name to be taken to that page:
If the bill passes the Senate, it may go to the House straight away. In that case, we will call on you to contact your local State MPs as well, so please stand by!
On the eve of the debate, former Chief Minister of the NT Marshall Perron will address the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday 8 August at 12.00 pm.
A keen advocate of individual rights, Marshall created world history when his private member’s bill, The Rights of the Terminally Ill Act, passed through the Territory Parliament in May 1995. Although the legislation was subsequently overturned by the Federal Parliament, four terminally ill Australians chose to end their suffering using the provisions in the Act while it was in force.
If you are in the area, please join us on the day. Tickets include lunch and are available directly from the NPC website
In Queensland support for Voluntary Assisted Dying continues to grow. On the 25th of June a public forum was held by the Clem Jones Trust and Dying with Dignity QLD which was well attended.
Soon after a passionate group of Queenslanders, united under the name Voices for Change Voluntary Assisted Dying, launched a Parliamentary E-Petition on End of life choices and voluntary assisted dying. The minister must respond to a petition within 30 days.The goal is to collect 10,000 signatures. Please note that you must be a Queensland resident to be able to sign the petition, which lives here.
Last but not least, we would like to say a big THANK YOU everyone who supported our End of Financial Year appeal which came to $28,400! These funds will be put to good use. Behind the scenes, a lot of work has been done on several projects. We are close to publishing a new e-book - watch this space.
We need your support to continue our work. There are two ways to help:
1. Consider a monthly donation. Our opponents are fully resourced and staffed. We cannot hope to match them by volunteers alone.
2. Encourage one new person to join our campaign. Then ask them to do the same.
The law only changed in Victoria because many thousands of people stepped forward. But compassionate end of life choices shouldn’t stop at the Victorian border. We need you now more than ever.
Thank you for your support!
Go Gentle Australia is a registered charity. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.