Australia Update

All states have now passed a VAD law. VAD is an end of life choice in Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania; VAD will commence in Queensland on January 1 2023, South Australia in January 2023 and NSW in November 2023. SA and Queensland passed VAD laws in 2021, and NSW in May 2022.

 

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The Voluntary Assisted Dying Act was passed by both chambers of the South Australian Parliament on June 24, 2021. Following last minute amendments in relation to institutional conscientious objection in the Legislative Council the previous evening, the House of Assembly agreed to the amendment at 11.05am the following morning. There was no debate and no Division called. After 17 attempts since 1993, Voluntary Assisted Dying was finally been passed by the South Australian Parliament. Debate on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill resumed on March 17, 2021. Hon Kyam Maher, MLC and (then) Shadow Attorney General, tabled the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill in the Legislative Council on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Hon Susan Close, MP, tabled the same VAD Bill in the House of Assembly on the same day. The VAD Bill was jointly sponsored by Hon Mark Parnell, MLC. The tabling of the VAD Bill followed the 18 month deliberations of the Joint Committee on End of Life Choices which reported to the Parliament in October 2020. (Further details, facebook links to Second Reading speeches and Hansard available here) (Aug 2021)

 

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Queensland became the fifth state to pass a Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill on September 16, 2021. The Parliament voted 61 for and 30 against the Bill, with no amendments accepted during the three day debate. The Queensland Premier, Hon Alexandra Palaszczuk, announced her intention to introduce legislation to legalise voluntary assisted dying during the 2020 election campaign. The legislation was tabled in May 2021. The VAD Bill was referred to a Parliamentary Committee, which reported in August 2021 and recommended that the VAD Bill proceed and be supported by the Parliament. This follows the March 2020 report of an 18 month Parliamentary Inquiry which recommended in favour of introducing a law to allow voluntary assisted dying. A 2021 poll commissioned by the Clem Jones Trust showed majority public support for law reform. (Sept 2021)

 

New South Wales became the 6th and last state to pass VAD legislation on May 19, 2022. The VAD Bill passed the upper house at midday, May 19, 2022, with a vote of 23 for, and 15 against. A couple of hours later, the lower house agreed to the upper house amendments and the VAD Bill was finally through. The VAD Bill had previously been passed by the lower house on November 26, 2021, with an overwhelming majority, 52 to 32. Independent MP Alex Greenwich introduced the VAD Bill and took major responsibility negotiating it through the Parliament. Labor MLC Adam Searle supported passage of the legislation through the debate in the upper house. (July 2022)

 

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VAD commenced in Tasmania on October 23, 2022. The Tasmanian Parliament passed the End of Life Choices (Voluntary Assisted Dying) Act in March 2021. This was the fourth attempt to pass a VAD law in Tasmania. The Bill passed the Legislative Council unanimously on December 4, 2020, and through the House of Assembly with a 16 to 6 majority on March 4, 2021. HOA amendments were later agreed by the upper house. The Bill was introduced by Tasmanian Independent MLC Mike Gaffney on August 27, 2020, after eight months of consultation around the state. The last Bill to legalise voluntary assisted dying in the Tasmanian Parliament was defeated in May 2016 - the third Bill defeated by the Tasmanian Parliament in the last 10 years. (Oct 2022)

The Victorian Parliament passed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill in November 2017.

Over the following 18 months, Regulations, policies, operating guidelines and training were developed and the Act came into effect on June 19, 2019. Reports, details of the operation of the VAD Review Board, further information, available here. (Mar 2021)

 

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Legislation to restore Territory rights and allow Territories to debate Voluntary Assisted Dying has been passed by the House of Assembly. It is now being considered by the Senate. (Oct 2022)

 

 

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Legislation to restore Territory rights and allow Territories to debate Voluntary Assisted Dying has been passed by the House of Assembly. It is now being considered by the Senate.  (Oct 2022)

 

VADSA      phone    0421 305 684           email   [email protected]        post    PO Box 2151 Kent Town, SA 5071