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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 December 2016) . . Page.. 185 ..

it is essential that they are not forced to live on the fringes of Canberra. Of course, the Greens do recognise that in many ways—social, environmental and financial—many of the older, large-scale multi-unit developments are not suitable for the nearly 30,000 vulnerable members of our community who are public housing tenants. So I am really pleased that the public housing renewal program is continuing. I think that one of the real tricks to making sure that it works well is genuine community consultation.

One of the other things Mr Steel mentioned was euthanasia laws. Of course, the ACT Greens have been campaigning for the repeal of the Andrews bill for years. It is something that personally is quite close to my heart. My mother spent 11 years in a nursing home. I have to say that the standard thing that my husband and I would say when we were leaving left was, “Thank God we’re not getting old,” because the conditions there were horrible. It was horrible hearing so many people screaming in pain. That is what they were doing. You have to think there must be a better way for end of life than spending years in pain.

The current Andrews bill is undemocratic, discriminatory and treats us as second-class citizens. Earlier this year, one of the things I was doing was soliciting for people to sign a petition to the federal government to repeal the Andrews bill. It was tabled in the federal Senate by the Greens leader, Senator Richard Di Natale. If anyone is interested in this issue, there is another petition on the Greens website——if you wish to sign, because we really want to get rid of this law. As I said it is undemocratic and discriminatory.

The Greens have for a long time supported the concept of voluntary euthanasia. Just last week we were really pleased to welcome the Victorian government’s decision to allow a conscience vote on dying with dignity. That was one of the things that prompted us to relaunch the petition. I note the very close result in South Australia, where the parliament was split and the motion was only lost on the casting vote of the Speaker. It is clearly something that Australians feel strongly about, and I think it is something that the ACT should be in a position to debate.

Another issue that was mentioned was bringing on the debate on marriage equality for a free vote. Again this is something the Greens have fought for basically forever. We have had a strong history on this. All Greens MPs have always stood up for marriage equality, and always will. This week is the anniversary of the annulment of the ACT’s act by the High Court, which is unfortunate. As someone who fairly recently has married, I would like any couple who wish to undertake this happy state to have the right to do so, as I have had the right to do so.

I will not talk for much longer. I just want to say that the Greens are very proud of and pleased with the contribution we have made to a more progressive, sustainable, compassionate and just Canberra. We are really pleased that the parliamentary agreement embodies so many of the things that we took to the election. The support by Mr Steel and Mr Barr bodes well for a successful Ninth Assembly.

MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (5.04): The opposition finds the structure and nature of this motion a little bit perplexing. It is very hard to say that it is

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