Page 2959 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 14 August 2013
The Greens then called for the Older Persons’ Assembly to be held twice over the coming four years to maintain an ongoing debate about the issues that matter to older people in Canberra. This is an item in the parliamentary agreement. They will be held in 2014 and 2015 with an age-friendly cities conference to be held this year in October 2013, which I think will be an excellent precursor. I mention the Older Persons’ Assembly because I think it potentially is a forum where some of these discussions may be appropriately carried forward. It will be interesting to see how the discussions coming out of the local area health network paper and roundtable might evolve into some of these other matters.
Madam Speaker, the motion before us today calls on the government to continue to raise end-of-life issues, including palliative care and advanced care planning. This conversation will necessarily discuss futile care and therefore also euthanasia—a much needed discussion point in our community, and I thanks Ms Porter again for raising this today.
I support this motion because I think that it is very important for people to have control over the end period of their lives and to ensure that they are able to have a say about it in a way that is informed, in a way in which they feel comfortable and confident that their choices are being respected and that their choices are being well informed.
MADAM SPEAKER: The question is that the motion be agreed to. Mr Hanson.
MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (10.36): I believe it is the amendment.
MADAM SPEAKER: Sorry, you are quite correct. The question is that the amendment be agreed to.
MR HANSON: Thank you, Madam Speaker. It is a rare opportunity for me.
Mr Rattenbury: You get another go.
MR HANSON: It probably will not happen again in a hurry. Watch out, question time! The opposition—I will not be supporting the amendment because I think that Mr Rattenbury is trying to do a couple of things. Firstly, he is an advocate for euthanasia. That is his party’s position. It seems that he is pushing euthanasia in this place. He wants a repeal of section 23 and so on. I do not agree with that and I am disappointed that he is using this debate about the end of life to advocate for that position. It is something that is—
Mr Rattenbury: You talked about it. Why shouldn’t I?
MR HANSON: That is why I am not supporting it, Mr Rattenbury.
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Rattenbury, members have been heard in silence in this discussion.