Bob Brown's machinations (letter)by Terri KelleherNews Weekly
, March 19, 2011
As with Alice in Wonderland, it all just gets curiouser and curiouser. Bob Brown introduced two bills into the Senate on September 29, 2010. The first is the Restoring Territories Rights (Voluntary Euthanasia) Bill 2010
, which seeks to repeal the Euthanasia Laws ACT (Cth) 1997
which overrules the NT euthanasia law, The Rights of the Terminally Ill Act 1995
Though this bill expressly sought to avoid reviving the NT euthanasia legislation of itself, it exposed that it is really about legalising euthanasia in the NT, not about territory rights. It has been referred to a Senate committee.
On March 1, 2011 Senator Brown announced Labor support for his second bill, the second arrow in his bow, the ACT (Self-Government) Amendment (Disallowance and Amendment Power of the Commonwealth) Bill 2010
. This bill removes the right of federal ministers to override legislation of a territory and provides that such legislation can only be vetoed by an act of parliament. This bill is also being presented as being about territories' rights (and has also been referred to a Senate committee).
Originally, this second bill applied only to the ACT, but was amended by Brown to include the NT and Norfolk Island, the two other territories which have legislative assemblies. The ACT has made a number of attempts since 2006 to legislate same-sex civil partnerships which in all but name mimicked marriage. And the Greens have already foreshadowed a fresh campaign in the ACT to do so. This exposes what the ACT self-government bill is all about. The addition of the NT is to provide another avenue to pursue reviving its euthanasia law (and to leave it open for the other territories to do likewise).
These moves are not about territory rights. The ACT and NT have voted against full statehood.
These moves by Bob Brown are an attempt to set up the assemblies of the territories as vehicles to enact the Greens' extreme social agenda.Terri Kelleher,
Victorian State Secretary,
Australian Family Association,