Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader
The largest ever e-petition to come before the Tasmanian Parliament was tabled this morning in the House of Assembly.
The full petition supporting the End of Life Choices (Voluntary Assisted Dying) Bill 2020 was signed by 13,082 Tasmanians. It consists of 11,699 signatories to the e-petition, tabled alongside the paper petition of 1,383 signatories.
This massive petition is another demonstration of the overwhelming public support for laws that show compassion to people whose pain and suffering cannot be relieved with palliative care.
It is also a testament to the incredible community engagement campaign run by Natalie and Jacqui Gray of Your Choice Tas, and independent MLC, Mike Gaffney. After the death of their mum, Diane, last year, Jacqui and Natalie have poured their hearts into this very personal campaign, and it was a privilege to table the petition on their behalf.
Voluntary Assisted Dying is already legal in Victoria and Western Australia. The evidence from those states is that the laws work as intended, and the fearmongering of ideological opponents is baseless.
The vast majority of Tasmanians from across the political spectrum support voluntary assisted dying reform. Mr Gaffney’s Bill has been painstakingly drafted, and the community widely consulted and will shortly be before Tasmania’s legislators.
With the legislation soon to come before Parliament, we hope every Member of the House of Assembly and Legislative Council will reflect on the significance of this huge petition. It represents the voice of the community, demanding compassionate change.
It’s past time Tasmania’s laws reflect the compassion and respect for human dignity found right across our community.