Euthanasia legislation is at risk of failure, as the vast majority of MPs remain guarded about their views.
Euthanasia legislation is at risk of failure, as the vast majority of MPs remain guarded about their views.

Cop out: Critical election pledge on life support

Euthanasia legislation that was a made a major election priority by Annastacia Palaszczuk is at risk of failure, as the vast majority of MPs remain guarded about where they stand on the sweeping reforms.

Senior Cabinet ministers Cameron Dick and Grace Grace are among dozens of MPs from both sides of politics who won't say if they are supportive of voluntary assisted dying (VAD).

The Courier-Mail contacted all MPs for comment, with 21 declaring they would vote in favour of legislation and another 14 indicating they supported euthanasia but did not commit to a yes vote.

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Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk promised during the October election campaign to put voluntary assisted dying legislation before the parliament by February. (News Corp/Attila Csaszar)
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk promised during the October election campaign to put voluntary assisted dying legislation before the parliament by February. (News Corp/Attila Csaszar)

If all 35 of those MPs end up voting in favour of law changes, there would have to be at least another 12 votes to reach a majority and get the reforms over the line.

Only four MPs - the three Katter's Australian Party representatives and the LNP's Mark Robinson - confirmed they would vote against the legislation.

The majority of MPs - 54 in total - would not say if they were supportive of VAD or how they would vote, with many waiting for the draft legislation.

Among those who said they would vote in favour were Deputy Premier Steven Miles, Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman, Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon and Housing Minister Leeanne Enoch.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles confirmed he would vote in favour of the legislation. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Deputy Premier Steven Miles confirmed he would vote in favour of the legislation. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

"I believe Queenslanders should have choice and control over how they spend their final days, including access to the best palliative care and access voluntary assisted dying if they so choose," Mr Miles said, encouraging all MPs to vote in favour.

Ms Scanlon said the issue was deeply personal for her, saying she had been upfront about her support for VAD.

"I lost my dad to Cancer when I was a teenager," she said.

"When you watch someone you love go through a long, exhausting and painful battle like that it can't help but frame your understanding and empathy for those who die in pain."

Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon has confirmed she will vote in favour of law changes. Picture: Brendan Radke
Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon has confirmed she will vote in favour of law changes. Picture: Brendan Radke

A spokesman for the Premier pointed to her record of support for VAD.

"Like many Queenslanders, the Premier has lost family members who have endured incredible pain and suffering," he said.

LNP leader David Crisafulli confirmed he had granted all of his MPs a conscience vote - just as Ms Palaszczuk is doing with her MPs - but he did not state a personal view on the issue.

He said his MPs were waiting for the legislation to know exactly what they would be voting on.

"Queenslanders would expect nothing less," the Opposition Leader said.

LNP Leader David Crisafulli. Picture: Evan Morgan
LNP Leader David Crisafulli. Picture: Evan Morgan

"LNP MPs are right now listening to the people they represent, the people they'll vote for."

KAP leader Robbie Katter said he would not support euthanasia legislation, as he called for greater investment in palliative care from the state and federal governments.

Member for Oodgeroo Mr Robinson, who has vowed to vote against the changes, argued that "undignified deaths" could be prevented by better palliative care.

The Greens' Michael Berkman said he supported VAD subject to safeguards, while independent Noosa MP Sandy Bolton said she would vote in favour of the changes - but may seek or support amendments.

Member for Traeger Robbie Katter is opposed to euthanasia.
Member for Traeger Robbie Katter is opposed to euthanasia.

Almost all Liberal National MPs did not say if they supported VAD or how they would vote, with many saying that they were waiting for the legislation.

Mr Dick also would not say whether he supported euthanasia - saying that he was looking forward to seeing the draft legislation from the Queensland Law Reform Commission.

The QLRC has been set a new reporting date of May 10 to come back with draft legislation. The Premier had previously promised to introduce legislation to parliament by February.

"The Commission is seeking to meet its new reporting date of May 10," Commission Chair Justice Peter Applegarth said.

 

 

Originally published as Cop out: Critical election pledge on life su



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