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  • Rikki Lambert

Tasmania becomes 3rd Australian state to legalise euthanasia

Voluntary assisted dying legislation has passed Tasmania's upper house, with the island state expected to permit the procedure in 18 months.

Tasmania will become the third Australian jurisdiction to legalise voluntary assisted dying after the legislation passed the state's upper house.

Legislative Council members supported the End of Life Choices (Voluntary Assisted Dying) Bill late on Tuesday night, approving amendments from the lower house.

The lower house had backed the bill in 16-6 vote on March 5, with Premier Peter Gutwein publicly declaring his support during the debate and numbering among a handful of Liberals to support it.

The upper house, where the legislation was introduced by independent Mike Gaffney MLC, had already passed the bill unanimously late last year.

The new laws are expected to become active in Tasmania in 18 months.

It is the fourth time proposed euthanasia laws have come before Tasmania's parliament.

Similar laws exist in Western Australia and Victoria.

South Australia faces a similar proposal in its Legislative Council from Labor leader in the upper house, Kyam Maher MLC. Over a dozen attempts to legalise assisted dying from private members and the Greens have been rejected by the South Australian parliament.

The debate in New South Wales has been troublesome for the Berejiklian government, with the Premier opposed to a debate during previous bushfires and recovery, then the current pandemic. Nationals MLC Trevor Khan has been one vocal advocate for euthanasia.

-- with AAP


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