Council calls for Assisted Dying Legislation consultation

Gunnedah Shire Council

Gunnedah Mayor Jamie Chaffey will write to Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson seeking consultation with the Gunnedah community about the proposed Assisted Dying Bill.

Cr Chaffey’s recommendation to seek consultation was supported by Councillors at Wednesday’s July Council meeting.

“My recommended motion seeks to ensure all residents of the Gunnedah local government area will be afforded the opportunity to gather all relevant information relating to the proposed Bill, and ample opportunity to voice their opinions, in either favour or opposition, prior to Mr Anderson casting his vote on any form of proposed Assisted Dying Bill,” Cr Chaffey told Council.

Independent Member of the NSW Parliament Alex Greenwich has publicly stated his intent to introduce a Bill to the Lower House of Parliament when Parliament returns from its current COVID-19 lockdown.

Cr Chaffey said Gunnedah residents had raised concerns in the past about inadequate community consultation on matters of critical importance.

“I believe consultation needs to be thorough and genuine,” he said.

“The concept of ‘assisted dying’ is one that I know many of our residents have strong views on and I think it’s important that as a Council we advocate for those residents to have the opportunity to be informed and heard.

“The role of a Member of Parliament is to represent the majority views of their electorate. They must be accountable for their decisions and actions to the public. They have a duty to consider issues on their merits, taking account of the views of others.”

Cr Chaffey’s letter calls on Mr Anderson to carry out Gunnedah consultation to include, as a minimum: a Town Hall meeting and information session; an online survey; and a request for written submissions.

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