Page 2099 - Week 07 - Thursday, 29 June 2023
That the Assembly take note of the paper.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Voluntary assisted dying—listening report
MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for Human Rights and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (10.48): I rise today to provide to the Assembly and the Canberra community an update on the progress made to legalise voluntary assisted dying in the ACT and to present to the Assembly a listening report detailing what we heard from the community in our recent public consultations, as well as five snapshots summarising our key stakeholder engagements.
Since the federal parliament restored the territory’s power to legislate on this matter with the passing of the Restoring Territory Rights Act 2022, the government has made voluntary assisted dying one of our key priorities to enhance compassionate end-of-life choices and outcomes for Canberrans.
We know that voluntary assisted dying is widely supported in the ACT and in Australia more broadly. Because of this, we undertook an eight-week consultation process between 7 February and 6 April this year to understand what the community and stakeholders wanted from voluntary assisted dying laws in the ACT.
We received over 106 formal submissions from organisations and individuals, 366 short answer submissions from individuals, and held round tables and workshops with key stakeholder groups. The consultation process reached more than 7,400 people via our YourSay Conversations website; nearly 3,000 members of the YourSay panel completed our survey; and over 32,000 people were reached through ACT government social media channels. We are especially grateful for the personal stories shared by all those involved in this process: especially from the people who have cared for loved ones at the end of their lives, those living with terminal illnesses and the health professionals who have cared for these people. We have now compiled all this feedback into a listening report, which will be available on the YourSay website.
I am pleased to also present five snapshots that summarise our key voluntary assisted dying round tables and workshops: a round table for disability and mental health communities; a round table for health professionals; a round table for private health and aged-care organisations; a round table for First Nations communities; and a grand rounds session at Canberra Hospital with Canberra Health Services clinicians. These snapshots summarise the key themes and reflections from these important stakeholders, who shared their expertise and lived experience with us. These themes are incorporated into the listening report as well, and the snapshots will also be provided separately on the YourSay website.
Madam Speaker, the feedback we received was generally in favour of building upon the protections of the Australian model—that is, the general approach that has been