Where two leaders stand on euthanasia

 

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has confirmed she would vote to legalise voluntary assisted dying if her Labor government wins a third term at the October 31 election.

Campaigning at Nerang, on the Gold Coast in the marginal Labor seat of Gaven, Ms Palaszczuk said she had brought the contentious issue into the campaign because it was "important" to many Queenslanders.

Ms Palaszczuk made the surprise announcement at her campaign launch on Sunday, revealing Labor would introduce legislation to legalise euthanasia in February, forcing the Queensland Law Reform Commission to rush its review of the issue due back by March.

"Our investment in $170m in palliative care is so important...so families and people who are impacted have a very clear choice about how they end their life. I think it's very important that people have dignity in death," Ms Palaszcuk said on the Gold Coast on Monday morning.

"That's why I said yesterday if we are reelected, we'll introduce legislation in February, this is a very personal decision, between an individual and the medical practitioners, it's a very very important issue that people discuss for their end of life care."

"And yes, I would vote for it."

 

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has confirmed she would vote to legalise voluntary assisted dying if her Labor government wins a third term. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has confirmed she would vote to legalise voluntary assisted dying if her Labor government wins a third term. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

 

Asked why she would rush the QLRC to bring forward draft legislation in February rather than March as planned, Ms Palaszczuk said she would give the commission extra resources.

"I think it's a very important issue for Queenslanders, it's been raised with me countless times, and there's no reason any extra assistance the Law Reform Commission is needed, we can bring that forward, so the parliament can have a vote.

"As I've said, it'll be a conscience vote for the members of my team if we are reelected, and I hope it is a conscience vote for all parliamentarians."

She said she did not tell the Catholic archbishop that nothing would happen on voluntary assisted dying before March.

Ms Palaszczuk visited a small natural skincare business in Nerang, Grahams Natural Alternatives, to announce $140m in small business funding. It would be funded by extra borrowings, as part of the Treasurer's $500m Backing Queensland Investment Fund.

She also said the government had identified a state-owned site to build the new Coomera hospital at the Gold Coast.

 

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has reportedly been referred to the ECQ over fears a series of fundraisers breach anti-corruption laws. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has reportedly been referred to the ECQ over fears a series of fundraisers breach anti-corruption laws. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall

 

Meanwhile, Deb Frecklington has refused to say whether she personally supports euthanasia but says no one should have to die in pain.

The Opposition Leader, who has promised to grant her MPs a conscience vote on euthanasia should laws come before the House, said it was a deeply personal issue.

"I will wait and see the response from the (Queensland) Law Reform Commission and this is an issue that is serious and it affects people's lives so it is important that we listen to the complex nature of the laws and that's why the Law Reform Commission is looking at drafting those laws," she said.

Pressed on whether she supported the premise of euthanasia, regardless of any laws, Ms Frecklington said she believed no one should have to die alone or in pain.

It comes after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday revealed a re-elected Labor Government would introduce voluntary-assisted dying laws in February next year, rushing the QLRC which had been asked to draft legislation by March 1, 2020.

Ms Frecklington also said the party would review the gestational limits in Queensland's abortion laws, which currently allows a woman to request a termination for any reason up until 22 weeks.

"We have said that we would be looking at gestation limits and certainly around coercion," she said.

She refused to say what her preferred gestational limit would be.

Ms Palaszczuk visited a small natural skincare business in Nerang, Grahams Natural Alternatives, to announce $140m in small business funding. It would be funded by extra borrowings, as part of the Treasurer's $500m Backing Queensland Investment Fund.

She also said the government had identified a state-owned site to build the new Coomera hospital at the Gold Coast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Premier: I'll vote for euthanasia