Summary

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The majority voted against amendments introduced by Northern Territory Jacinta Nampijinpa Price (Country Liberal Party), which means they failed.

What do the amendments do?

Senator Nampijinpa Price explained that:

The purpose of the Restoring Territory Rights Bill 2022 is to amend the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 and the Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act 1978 to remove the provisions currently preventing the territories from passing legislation which would allow for voluntary assisted dying. The bill would not legalise that in either of the territories but rather would allow the legislative assemblies of the ACT and the NT to pass laws allowing for VAD. Despite what the Labor Northern Territory and federal House of Representatives members have portrayed of me publicly, I do support the bill and am doing my job—which they should note how to better do themselves—in making a bad bill better for the Territory. I'll say this again: I absolutely support the rights of Territorians. The proposed amendments, drafted by the parliamentary clerk, have been developed to ensure that the exact restraints that are currently operative in state law are applied in the Territory, because we have some of the most vulnerable communities and people in Australia.

Why are the major parties split on how to vote?

This was a free vote (also known as a conscience vote), which means our senators voted according to their own beliefs rather than voting along party lines.

Amendment text

(1) Schedule 1, item 1, page 3 (lines 4 and 5), omit the item, substitute:

1 Subsections 23(1A) and (1B)

Repeal the subsections, substitute:

(1A) The Assembly has no power to make laws permitting or having the effect of permitting (whether subject to conditions or not) the form of intentional killing of another called euthanasia (which includes mercy killing), or the assisting of a person to terminate the person's life, in circumstances where:

(a) the person whose life is to be terminated is under 18 years of age; or

(b) the euthanasia is performed or the assistance is provided solely on the ground that the person whose life is to be terminated has:

(i) a disability (within the meaning of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992); or

(ii) a mental impairment (within the meaning of the Criminal Code).

(1B) Subsection (1A) does not limit the power of the Assembly to make laws with respect to:

(a) the withdrawal or withholding of medical or surgical measures for prolonging the life of a patient, but not so as to permit the intentional killing of a person who is under 18 years of age; and

(b) medical treatment in the provision of palliative care to a dying patient, but not so as to permit the intentional killing of a person who is under 18 years of age; and

(c) the appointment of an agent by a patient who is authorised to make decisions about the withdrawal or withholding of treatment; and

(d) the repealing of legal sanctions against attempted suicide.

(2) Schedule 1, item 2, page 3 (lines 7 and 8), omit the item, substitute:

2 Section 50A

Repeal the section, substitute:

50A Law s concerning euthanasia

(1) Subject to this section the power of the Legislative Assembly conferred by section 6 in relation to the making of laws does not extend to the making of laws which permit or have the effect of permitting (whether subject to conditions or not) the form of intentional killing of another called euthanasia (which includes mercy killing), or the assisting of a person to terminate the person's life, in circumstances where:

(a) the person whose life is to be terminated is under 18 years of age; or

(b) the euthanasia is performed or the assistance is provided solely on the ground that the person whose life is to be terminated has:

(i) a disability (within the meaning of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992); or

(ii) a mental impairment (within the meaning of the Criminal Code).

(2) Subsection (1) does not limit the power of the Legislative Assembly to make laws with respect to:

(a) the withdrawal or withholding of medical or surgical measures for prolonging the life of a patient, but not so as to permit the intentional killing of a person who is under 18 years of age; and

(b) medical treatment in the provision of palliative care to a dying patient, but not so as to permit the intentional killing of a person who is under 18 years of age; and

(c) the appointment of an agent by a patient who is authorised to make decisions about the withdrawal or withholding of treatment; and

(d) the repealing of legal sanctions against attempted suicide.

Votes Not passed by a small majority

There were 6 rebellions in this division.

  • Simon Birmingham voted No against the majority of the Liberal Party.
  • Andrew Bragg voted No against the majority of the Liberal Party.
  • Raff Ciccone voted Yes against the majority of the Australian Labor Party.
  • Richard Colbeck voted No against the majority of the Liberal Party.
  • Marise Payne voted No against the majority of the Liberal Party.
  • Linda Reynolds voted No against the majority of the Liberal Party.
Party Votes
Australian Greens (100% turnout) 0 Yes 12 No
Penny Allman-Payne Queensland No
Dorinda Cox WA No
Mehreen Faruqi NSW No
Sarah Hanson-Young SA No
Nick McKim Tasmania No
Barbara Pocock SA No
Janet Rice Victoria No
David Shoebridge NSW No
Jordon Steele-John WA No
Lidia Thorpe Victoria No
Larissa Waters Queensland No
Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania No
Australian Labor Party (68% turnout) 1 Yes 16 No
Raff Ciccone Victoria Yes
Tim Ayres NSW No
Catryna Bilyk Tasmania No
Carol Brown Tasmania No
Katy Gallagher ACT No
Nita Green Queensland No
Karen Grogan SA No
Jenny McAllister NSW No
Malarndirri McCarthy NT No
Fatima Payman WA No
Helen Polley Tasmania No
Louise Pratt WA No
Glenn Sterle WA No
Anne Urquhart Tasmania No
Jess Walsh Victoria No
Linda White Victoria No
Penny Wong SA No
Anthony Chisholm Queensland Absent
Patrick Dodson WA Absent
Don Farrell SA Absent
Deborah O'Neill NSW Absent
Tony Sheldon NSW Absent
Marielle Smith SA Absent
Jana Stewart Victoria Absent
Murray Watt Queensland Absent
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price NT Country Liberal Party Yes
Andrew McLachlan SA Deputy President Yes
David Pocock ACT Independent No
Jacqui Lambie Network (100% turnout) 0 Yes 2 No
Jacqui Lambie Tasmania No
Tammy Tyrrell Tasmania No
Liberal National Party (50% turnout) 1 Yes 0 No
Matthew Canavan Queensland Yes
James McGrath Queensland Absent
Liberal Party (88% turnout) 16 Yes 5 No
Alex Antic SA Yes
Wendy Askew Tasmania Yes
Slade Brockman WA Yes
Michaelia Cash WA Yes
Jonathon Duniam Tasmania Yes
David Fawcett SA Yes
Sarah Henderson Victoria Yes
Jane Hume Victoria Yes
Kerrynne Liddle SA Yes
Matt O'Sullivan WA Yes
James Paterson Victoria Yes
Gerard Rennick Queensland Yes
Anne Ruston SA Yes
Paul Scarr Queensland Yes
Dean Smith WA Yes
David Van Victoria Yes
Simon Birmingham SA No
Andrew Bragg NSW No
Richard Colbeck Tasmania No
Marise Payne NSW No
Linda Reynolds WA No
Claire Chandler Tasmania Absent
Hollie Hughes NSW Absent
Jim Molan NSW Absent
National Party (75% turnout) 3 Yes 0 No
Ross Cadell NSW Yes
Susan McDonald Queensland Yes
Bridget McKenzie Victoria Yes
Perin Davey NSW Absent
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party (50% turnout) 1 Yes 0 No
Malcolm Roberts Queensland Yes
Pauline Hanson Queensland Absent
Sue Lines WA President No
Ralph Babet Victoria United Australia Party Yes
Totals (82% turnout) 25 Yes – 37 No