After weeks of debate and many long nights, the upper house has finally passed the Voluntary Assisted Bill with a 24 to 11 vote in favour of it’s passing.
Minister for Jobs and Trade, Alannah MacTiernan said that she was “completely ecstatic and that it was a huge sense of relief adding that this is something that needs to be done for the community.
When asked “Why should young people care about it?” Ms MacTiernan said “It’s because young people get old too.”
“We’ve seen many of us hurt, we’ve seen many stories of intergenerational trauma that have been caused by families that have witnessed long agonising death,” she said.
However, WA One Nation leader Colin Ticknell voted against the bill after amendments he wanted to see were voted down.
Ticknell hopes to see more palliative care options in regional areas.
“We are just going down one or two votes (amendments) that are very important ones, that’s because people in the house realised how important they are. They were divided, they weren’t so sure which way to go,” he said.
“… There is a million why people don’t support this bill. Some people are religious and its against their conscience, they believe a certain thing and we have to respect that.”
Strong criticisms have levelled at Nick Goiran, accused of filibustering and obstructing the passage of the bill with 400-odd amendments, and at Mark McGowan for his criticism of opponents of the bill.
Although the final approvals are expected to be passed on Tuesday, it will be 18 months before the scheme is available to WA patients.