SURVEY CALL: A lobbyist wants the region’s state politicians to let their constituents have their say on VAD
SURVEY CALL: A lobbyist wants the region’s state politicians to let their constituents have their say on VAD

‘Not a fan’: MPs urged to survey on voluntary assisted dying

ONE of the region’s state politicians says she is “conflicted” on the issue of voluntary assisted dying, while another admits he is “not a fan”.

But both are now being pressured to survey their respective communities about their views on the issue.

VAD lobbyist Fiona Jacobs has called on Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert, Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan and Mirani MP Stephen Andrew to let constituents have their say on VAD, with a Queensland inquiry into aged care, end-of-life and palliative care and voluntary assisted dying under way.

“They are supposed to represent people’s views and, in a proper democracy, if you have 85 per cent of the public wanting voluntary assisted dying, then each MP should be representing their constituents and supporting a bill,” Ms Jacobs, a former Mackay resident said.

While Mrs Gilbert sidestepped the Daily Mercury’s questions about her own views on VAD, she said a survey of Mackay residents was something that “could happen”.

“I feel quite conflicted (by VAD) … I used to have a black and white view on it, but after talking to a lot of constituents, I’m learning more about these issues,” Mrs Gilbert said.

“From the contact I’ve had in the people coming through my office, the majority of the community wants to see some sort of (VAD) legislation come through.”

Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan said he was “not a fan” of bringing in the legislation and ruled out conducting a survey on the matter.

NOT A FAN: Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan. Picture: Alix Sweeney
NOT A FAN: Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan. Picture: Alix Sweeney

“ (VAD) has generated very little interest, if any, from my own constituents who are more focused on real issues impacting them,” Mr Costigan said.

“Stuff like power prices, the cost of fuel, law and order issues, the state of the Bruce Highway, how we can assist our farmers, what we should do about these crazy green protesters and on it goes.

“So no, we won’t be doing any survey work. If anything, I would like to see some survey work from TMR on the Goorganga Plains in relation to building an upgraded and floodproof Bruce Highway.”

Mirani MP Stephen Andrew was contacted for comment, but did not respond by deadline.

A petition launched by Ms Jacobs and others calling on Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to draft, table and debate VAD legislation before the 2020 State election has received more than 6600 signatures.

“If the LNP get in at next year’s election, VAD will be swept under the table,” Ms Jacobs said.

“So we really need this bill passed while Labor is in office.”

A public hearing on the inquiry will be held in Mackay on Tuesday, October 29 from 12pm to 3pm at Magpies Sporting Club.


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