Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 14 August 2018) . . Page.. 2846 ..
MRS DUNNE: Minister, could I ask you to seek a briefing on this? In doing so, could you find out whether this case has been referred to the mortality and morbidity committee of the hospital; if not, why not?
MS FITZHARRIS: I would note, in relation to my previous answer, that I have had leave in recent times. In the previous week I was in New Zealand for work purposes and prior to that I was on an extended four-week period of personal leave. Advice may have come to my office in that period. I will take on notice Mrs Dunne’s question. I also encourage her to directly contact my office about such a serious matter. Of course, it is also appropriate to raise it in question time, but I remind her again that these particularly sensitive matters can also be followed up with some urgency by my office.
MR MILLIGAN: Minister, has the case been or will it be referred to the coroner? If so, will you undertake to ensure that the coroner’s report is tabled in the Assembly?
MS FITZHARRIS: That is a hypothetical but I will take the question on notice.
Federal government—territory rights
MS CHEYNE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, can you please advise the Assembly on what action the ACT government has taken to support the democratic rights of ACT residents to repeal the Andrews bill?
MR BARR: I thank Ms Cheyne for the question. I acknowledge her significant interest in and hard work on this particular issue. The repeal of this legislation is indeed the only way to restore the full democratic rights of residents of the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.
I think we all understand that voluntary assisted dying is an incredibly difficult issue and that there will be a diverse range of views in the community, in this place and in the federal parliament, but I know that I and my colleagues refuse to accept that Canberrans should be stopped from discussing this matter, something that their friends and family who live only 20 minutes away in Queanbeyan, or indeed in other Australian states, can discuss. We are absolutely capable of having a mature and respectful conversation in our community and in this parliament on this important issue.
Last year I signed a memorandum of understanding with the Northern Territory Chief Minister to pursue a number of issues associated with territory rights and we have joined forces to campaign on this issue for the rights of our territory residents. Members would be aware that I have personally written to senators and MPs urging them to restore the rights of their fellow Australians.
I have in my advocacy made it very clear that voting for the bill currently before the Senate does not mean that there will be assisted dying in the ACT. It will simply give territory residents the same rights that all other Australians have to decide on this issue through their democratically elected representatives in this parliament. There are