Territory Rights to be progressed under an Albanese Labor Government

Territory Rights to be progressed under an Albanese Labor Government Main Image

27 October 2021

Joint Media Release with Senator Katy Gallagher, Andrew Leigh MP, Alicia Payne MP.

An Albanese Labor Government would, as a priority, facilitate the introduction, debate and vote on a standalone Private Members/Senators Bill to restore the rights of the territories to be able to legislate on the issue of voluntary euthanasia without intervention from the Commonwealth Government.

Labor members would be allowed a conscience vote on that Bill.

The Andrews Bill which passed during the Howard era unfairly and significantly restricted the democratic rights of residents in both the ACT and the Northern Territory by limiting the ability of the respective parliaments to make laws in relation to voluntary euthanasia on behalf of their own constituents.

It has never been fair that Canberrans have had less democratic rights than those who live over the border in Queanbeyan. 

Today, Federal Labor Caucus also agreed that it will not be supporting Senator Sam McMahon’s Territory Rights Bill, due to flawed extra elements in the Bill and because it fails to address the unfair restriction on territory rights in the ACT.

Whether or not you support euthanasia – and we recognise the complexity and sensitivity of the arguments for and against – it is absurd that the NT and the ACT cannot make laws for their own jurisdictions, and that ACT and Northern Territory legislation can be overridden at the whim of the Federal Government.

Labor is on the side of the hundreds of thousands of Australians who live in the ACT and the NT through a solid commitment to facilitate a debate and a vote that would deliver them the same rights as millions of Australians living in the states.

Liberal Senator, Zed Seselja will also have a choice to make after the election.

He will need to decide whether he will vote to support the rights of Canberrans or do what he always does which is put his own conservative views ahead of the best interests of the community that he claims to represent.

Sign Senator Gallagher's petition to send a clear message to Zed Seselja that Canberrans want action on Territory Rights.