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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 March 2021) . . Page.. 690 ..


We also need to ensure that any discussion around assisted dying and euthanasia is just one of a broader conversation about end of life and death. It is a subject that we are not good at addressing, whether it be around advanced care planning, access to and resourcing of appropriate palliative care services or how we change the reality that, while most people wish to die at home, they are more likely to die in hospital or another clinical setting.

While we are not good at these conversations, we need to have them, within families, within the community and in parliaments. The time is now, particularly given that other communities around Australia are able to have these conversations. When this issue was raised in 2014, for instance, the federal government cited the fact that no state had enacted legislation as a key reason to knock back consideration of overturning the ban in the ACT on making laws on this issue. This is now not the case. It is time for federal parliament to respect the rights of territories to make their own laws on this issue, and it is important that we come together to work out what we want as a community on this issue.

MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (11.38): Before I am a member of any one of the committees of this place, before I am a proud member of the ACT Greens, even, yes, before I am a proud RuPaul’s Drag Race fan, I am, first and foremost, a member for Brindabella, a constituency representing 70,424 electors, many of whom did not vote for me, as you would note, Mr Deputy Speaker. However, I represent each and every one of them and, until this reform takes place, until the federal government shows respect for my constituency, for their democratic rights and for every single person that we represent in Tuggeranong, I have a responsibility to stand up and call out this inaction on behalf of the federal government.

In preparing my remarks for this debate, I considered many comments made in the context of a robust election campaign about the comparisons between living in the ACT and Queanbeyan, be it regarding accessibility to certain services, or the price you pay for land on which to build. We had that robust conversation, but the one that sticks out very boldly today, and one that I am so proud to see this parliament unifying around, is that, currently, the number one thing you enjoy in Queanbeyan that you do not enjoy if you live in the ACT is full and uninhibited democratic rights.

Your representatives are hamstrung, unable to represent you, your ambitions, your hopes, your dreams and the policy positions that you support at the ballot box once every four years. We are, in effect, less powerful, less influential and less able to serve than our New South Wales state MP counterparts, Queensland state MP counterparts and our federal parliamentarians. That is untenable. That besmirches the intellect, the voting power and the democratic freedoms of every single person in this city.

I am a born and bred Canberran. I absolutely love this city. It invoked in me a commitment to serve in this place. It was incredibly powerful and disappointing to have to take to the streets, as a proud Canberran, only a few years ago, and for many years prior, to fight for my rights as a proud gay man to get married here in the city that I was born and raised in, the city that I love. It was another example of a policy area where our federal parliament showed absolute disrespect—contempt even—for


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