Bid to delay Western Australia euthanasia vote fails

Rick Mazza and Mark McGowan (Facebook and Mark McGowan website)

Opponents of Western Australia’s proposed euthanasia laws have failed in their attempt to put a final vote in state Parliament on hold until well into next year. Source: ABC News.

The Upper House rejected crossbench MP Rick Mazza’s attempt to hold another inquiry into the contentious bill, voting 29-6 against the proposal last night.

Had the move been successful, it would have put debate on hold for months and prevented a final vote from being held until several months into the new year.

The motion from Mr Mazza, a member of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, was dismissed by some supporters of voluntary assisted dying as a delaying tactic.

But Mr Mazza pointed to concerns about what he described as a lack of consultation with the Indigenous community and a feeling that debate was being rushed to claim it was necessary.

His motion called for the committee to look at whether the bill provided “for culturally appropriate end-of-life choices for Indigenous persons” and to examine end-of-life care in rural and remote communities.

“I think there needs to be a lot more work done in that area,” he said.

Mr Mazza said he was concerned the bill, if passed, would result in deaths through coercion.

“The coercion will be unpoliced, unreported and unmanaged,” he said.

A review by the Upper House’s legislation committee is not uncommon for contentious bills, but the Government had urged MPs not to do that given there had already been reviews by a joint parliamentary committee and the ministerial expert panel.

The Government has been sufficiently concerned by the prospect of another inquiry that Premier Mark McGowan warned MPs against it during debate in the Lower House last month.

Liberal MP Nick Goiran, one of the highest-profile critics of the bill, strongly supported Mr Mazza’s motion.

“It would say a lot about this chamber if we are prepared to send the animal welfare bill to the Legislation Committee for examination but we are not prepared to send the voluntary assisted dying bill,” he said.

Debate will now continue on the bill, with the Government aiming to hold a final vote by the end of the year.

FULL STORY

Shooters MP Rick Mazza fails in last-ditch bid to delay WA voluntary euthanasia laws (ABC News)

RELATED COVERAGE

Health Minister Roger Cook rules out medical specialist amendment for voluntary assisted dying laws (The West Australian)

Expert panel reach out to MPs to quash fake news on voluntary assisted dying laws (The West Australian)

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