Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 November 2021) . . Page.. 3272 ..
point remains that the reason the ACT is not in Senator McMahon’s bill is because of Senator Seselja’s position. That was the point made in the resolution, and I stand by that. I would suggest to the Canberra Liberals that, rather than spending time trying to argue these semantics in the hope that they can disguise an inconvenient political reality, they turn their attention to lobbying for territory rights, just as Canberrans want them to.
And I suggest to Mr Seselja that, rather than spending time trying to argue these semantics in the hope that he can disguise an inconvenient political reality, he spend more time talking to his constituents about their strong support for territory rights and indeed their strong support for the introduction of voluntary assisted dying laws in the ACT. Almost all the Australian states now have voluntary assisted dying laws. The ACT will end up as an isolated, second-class island, where its citizens have fewer rights than their neighbours. And the champion of this situation, proudly putting himself in the way of any progress, is Senator Seselja. The ACT Greens will not be supporting Mr Hanson’s motion today.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.08): Yesterday, I was a bit reluctant to indulge this stunt, out of respect for Ms Lee. With her being away, I thought we should not allow a couple of mischievous Canberra Liberals to undermine her. On reflection, I think that there are more than a couple. It is clear that this motion is at Senator Seselja’s bidding; it is a whinge from a man who has control over the Canberra Liberals.
The report has no substance. Let us look at the record. We heard the quotes earlier on. There was the one on 4 July in the Sydney Morning Herald stating:
I did originally try to include the ACT in it, but in my conversations with Senator Zed Seselja he wasn’t keen to do that.
She went on:
If Zed’s not interested and not going to support it, I don’t think it would be worth doing. I’d be better off just doing it for the NT.
And on 7 July the Canberra Times reported:
Senator McMahon told The Canberra Times that she chose to exclude the ACT after Senator Seselja’s office indicated that he wouldn’t support it.
Senator Seselja’s opposition to euthanasia is well known and he has not supported previous attempts to overturn the ban, which was legislated under a bill spearheaded by Kevin Andrews in 1997. The ACT senator’s spokeswoman on Monday said his views had not changed.
I understand that at least one of these statements from Senator McMahon was provided in writing to those journalists. I cannot find in the Senate Hansard a personal explanation from either Senator McMahon or Senator Seselja refuting media reports.