By Dominique Tassell
Queensland Parliament has commenced discussions on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill today, with Katter’s Australia Party putting forward an unsuccessful motion to delay voting on the bill.
Katter’s Australia Party put forward that parliament move an amendment to delay the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021 until after the Palaszczuk Labor Government committed to an additional $275 million per year of funding for palliative care in Queensland.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath called the motion a “stunt”, saying it was a deliberate act to delay voting on the bill.
Member for Southern Downs, James Lister, voted in support of the unsuccessful motion.
28 MPs voted for the motion, losing to the 54 MPs who voted against it.
MPs from both major parties, Labor and the Liberal National Party, have been granted a conscience vote on the bill.
Throughout the day, however, most members of the two major parties did indicate they would vote in line with each other.
Some members have indicated they may vote differently.
Shadow Attorney-General, Tim Nicholls, stated he would vote in favour of the bill in part because the majority of the community he represents is in support of it.
He stated that he is a big believer in individual choice, but also believes there is an obligation to be responsible for that choice.
He said that terminally ill people want to retain control of their end of life.
He stated the bill is safe, well constructed, and compassionate.
Member for Southport, Rob Molhoek, stated he fundamentally believes in freedom of choice but wants the bill to afford more freedom to institutions.
He did not state how he will vote later this week.
We will continue to report on this throughout the week.