There were 5 speakers in the Legislative Council: Stephen Wade (Health Minister), Ian Hunter, Irene Pnevmatikos, Jason Hanson, (3 ALP), Tammy Franks (Greens). Kyam Maher and Mark Parnell made their 2nd Reading speeches on Dec 2 when the Bill was tabled.
There were 3 speeches in the House of Assembly: Vicki Chapman and David Pisoni (in support) and Dan Van Holst Pellekaan, who explained his concerns with VAD. (All Liberals)
Stephen Wade made a considered and constructive speech, saying he ‘did not have a fundamental objection to euthanasia’ and while he had never voted for VAD before, this VAD Bill was close enough to workable. He said that VAD would not be an option for him because of his christian faith, but in a pluralist society, he would not be imposing his views on others. He concluded by saying that providing there were no amendments to this VAD Bill which would take it away from being consistent with the VAD legislation in other states, he could support it.
We understand that there is unlikely to be support for amendments which would make the VAD Bill significantly different from its current form.
Ian Hunter, Irene Pnevmatikos and Tammy Franks all spoke in favour of the Bill. All three are long term supporters of VAD. Justin Hanson’s position on the Bill is unclear.
March 31 the next debate day: Debate will resume in the Legislative Council on March 31. It is likely to go late, perhaps until midnight, to conclude Second Reading speeches.
There will then be a vote to see if there is support to go to the next stage where amendments to the Bill will be considered.
The final vote, after consideration of amendments, is expected on May 5.
If the VAD Bill passes the Legislative Council, it will then move to the House of Assembly.
Hansard: Hansard from March 17 is on the vadsa website. https://www.vadsa.org.au/hansard_2011-21
Gallery access: Access to the Gallery is restricted because of covid rules. We will work that out closer to March 31.
Steps of Parliament: we will be on the steps of Parliament on Tuesday March 30 and Wednesday March 31, so please keep the dates free.