Ignited by the New Zealand referendum, the Times reached out to the five Nanango candidates to gauge their view on volutary euthanasia. File Photo.
Ignited by the New Zealand referendum, the Times reached out to the five Nanango candidates to gauge their view on volutary euthanasia. File Photo.

ELECTION: Nanango candidates views on euthanasia laws

TRIGGERED by the much-anticipated New Zealand referendum to legalise euthanasia, which today passed with flying colours, the controversial subject has become a hot topic in the lead up to the Queensland State Election this weekend.

Making the announcement at Labor’s campaign launch on October 18, Annastacia Palaszczuk promised to allow a vote on euthanasia laws within months of re-election.

“I believe individuals and families should be empowered to consider all the options available in consultation with their medical professionals,” she said.

“That‘s why today I can commit that the government I lead will introduce legislation in February next year to provide for the legalisation of voluntary assisted dying.”

LNP leader Deb Frecklington previous said “nobody should die alone or in pain” at a campaign stop in Brisbane, but has not confirmed whether she would back euthanasia laws.

Both leaders have promised MPs a conscience vote on voluntary assisted dying laws, which a health committee inquiry found most Queenslanders favoured.

To help voters make an informed decision this election, the South Burnett Times reach out to the five candidates running for the seat of Nanango and asked them a series of questions about how they would approach euthanasia legislation.

  • Do you personally think euthanasia should be legalised? Why/why not?
  • What are the biggest barriers to passing euthanasia legislation in your opinion?
  • How could Queensland go about attaining euthanasia legislation, should it be put to a referendum?
  • What regulations and limitations should be prescribed under any system allowing euthanasia?
  • How can we prevent people from being pressured into making the decision to end their own life from external sources?

These were their responses:

Deb Frecklington – LNP:

Labor has referred voluntary assisted dying reforms to the Queensland Law Reform Commission, which will report back next year. When the legislation returns to the Parliament, I will consult with the people of my electorate and represent their views. The LNP will focus on better palliative care as our priority to help families through these difficult decisions.

Mark Stapleton – Labor:

Everyone has a right to dignity and choice at the end of their life. As a nurse, I know first-hand how important it is for Labor to invest $171 million in a new palliative care plan.

John Harbison – Greens:

The Greens believe we should respect the wishes of individuals facing ongoing pain and suffering in the grip of terminal illness, and provide the choice of a dignified, pain free death. When this comes to a vote in the next parliament, we will support it.

One Nation candidate Tony Scrimshaw and Legalise Cannabis QLD candidate Maggie O’Rance did not respond to the South Burnett Times’ questions.