This article was published on the HOPE Australia website on August 25, 2015
By Paul Russell, Director of Hope Australia
News today that the Tasmanian State Conference of the Australian Labor Party endorsed a motion in support of a push for euthanasia has reignited the issue in the island state.
Euthanasia was last debated in Tasmania on the 17th of October 2013 when the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill was defeated 13 votes to 11 in the State's Lower House. Since that time, the State Election has changed the make up of the chamber offering, perhaps, the mover of the last bill, Lara Giddings MP, some hope that this time the outcome might be different.
The ALP motion - now part of the party's Tasmanian platform - is subject to the normal provision of a conscience vote and is, we understand, not binding upon State ALP Members of Parliament.
However, as noted in The Examiner, the three new members on the government benches for the Liberal Party are holding their cards close and claiming, at this time, to be 'openminded' on the subject.
Readers should note that, in 2013, Lara Giddings was Premier which provided her with additional control over the debate process. This time around she is a Shadow Minister on the opposition benches.
Time will tell. The Examiner reports that Lara Giddings will be looking to introduce her bill later this year.