AN HISTORIC CAMPAIGN
On Tuesday 10 December 2019 the Government's Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill cleared its final parliamentary hurdle making Western Australian the second state after Victoria to legalise voluntary assisted dying for the terminally ill.
The VAD Bill had to return to the lower house because of amendments made in the upper house. The Bill passed the upper house by 24 votes to 11 in the upper house on Thursday 5 December 2019. It took five hours for the Legislative Assembly to work its way through all 55 upper house amendments but all were passed unopposed.
The passing of the VAD Bill ended a long and emotionally challenging parliamentary debate that ran for more than 180 hours in total.
A VALUABLE ARCHIVE
Western Australians were encouraged to "Get Involved" throughout the campaign. The information on this page has been left on the website as an archive so other states who have yet to debate their own VAD Bills can see the benefit of a grassroots campaign.
HOW CAN I MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
On the night of Tuesday 24 September 2019 the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill passed by 45 votes to 11 in the Legislative Assembly. This is a significant step toward giving terminally ill people in WA the right to access a peaceful death at a time of their choosing if they meet the strict eligibility criteria set out in the Bill.
The debate in the Legislative Council will be long and intense, and the vote will be much closer.
We want to continue showing Members of the Legislative Council the level of community support that exists, and who the people who support voluntary assisted dying are.
For this reason, we’re collecting stories and photographs of hundreds of health practitioners, who know first-hand how hard dying can be. There will also be stories from others in the community, who have watched a loved one suffer intolerably at the end of life.
These will be printed onto a banner, that will be unfurled outside Parliament House once the debate in the Legislative Council is underway.
Your stories are powerful, and have helped to achieve success in the Lower House. Please add them to our banner, to achieve success in the Upper House too, and make voluntary assisted dying a reality for Western Australians.
Please share this request with any other health professionals you may know.
OTHER WAYS TO GET INVOLVED
Having passed the lower house the Bill will now progress to the upper house where the debate will continue in October.
This legislation will be a conscience vote, meaning that MPs may vote according to their consciences rather than according to an official line laid down by their party.
When MPs hear from their constituents on an issue - especially one such as end of life choices that will touch the lives of every one of us - it has the power to influence their vote. In relation to voluntary assisted dying this is true especially if you have a personal experience to share.
We know that this issue is close to the hearts of many in our community, with 88% of Western Australians telling us they are in favour of voluntary assisted dying legislation. However, many people don’t know that this legislation will be drafted and tabled this year. You can help to spread the word by raising awareness in the community and encouraging your friends and family to support the campaign.
Dying with Dignity will be with you every step of the way. We can provide any training and advice you may need to help you take action.
You can download a copy of our 'GET INVOLVED' booklet by clicking on this image.
Now is the time to let MPs know how the wider community feels on this issue. Can we count on you?
CALL YOUR LOCAL MP
Did you know that there are seven Members of State Parliament who represent your local area? You have one Legislative Assembly representative and six Legislative Council representatives. The Legislative Council is similar to the Senate in Federal Parliament, and is broken up into six regions as shown in the maps at the bottom of this page.
While the Legislative Assembly will vote on the legislation first we know that it is the members of the Legislative Council who will ultimately determine whether the proposed voluntary assisted dying legislation passes into law.
Getting in touch with your Legislative Council representatives is an important way you can make an impact.
Members of Parliament receive phone calls from constituents every day. They actively encourage members of the community to get in touch to share their views. So why don’t you take this opportunity to pick up the phone and let them know how you feel?
It can be as simple as saying “Hi, I’m calling to let my local representative know that I support voluntary assisted dying.” You can also share your own personal experience.
Remember they might ask you for your name and contact details. You don’t have to give these if you don’t feel comfortable but your opinion will hold more weight if you identify yourself.
WRITE TO YOUR LOCAL MP
Letters can be powerful, especially if they include your own personal experiences.
Put pen to paper or write an email to tell your Legislative Council representatives why you support voluntary assisted dying.
Although handwritten letters and personal emails are most effective, if you want the quickest way to email your representative you can use an easy online tool at www.dwdwa.org.au/dogooder
SO, HOW DO I GET STARTED?
At the bottom of this page is a map of the regions and a contact list for Members of Parliament.
The priority is to contact your Legislative Council MPs, but you can also find your Legislative Assembly MP by visiting www.dwdwa.org.au/mp-search
Please be sure to use a respectful tone whilst explaining your reasons for supporting voluntary assisted dying.
ENCOURAGE A RESPECTFUL DEBATE
We know that some Members will use all tactics available to delay voluntary assisted dying legislation.
We have already witnessed Members of the Legislative Council use parliamentary tactics to filibuster (debate with the purpose of delaying or preventing a decision being made) other legislation in a bid to delay as much as possible or force the Government to withdraw the legislation.
We can’t let this happen to the voluntary assisted dying legislation.
We need to encourage Opposition Leader Liza Harvey to allow debate on this important legislation to take place unimpeded and without delay.
Please contact the Opposition Leader and show your support for:
- A respectful debate; and
- The legislation to be voted on without delaying tactics.
You can contact the Opposition Leader at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can call the Opposition Leader’s Office on 9222 7351.
CALL TALK BACK RADIO
You’ve already written to your local Members of Parliament or spoken to them on the phone, so you know what you want to say.
Why not get your message out to a broader audience and encourage listeners to contact their MPs too?
WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR
All change starts locally. Where better to spread the word than in your local community newspaper?
We know Members of Parliament take an interest in the content of their local newspapers and your letter can have a significant impact.
Your letter also has the power to encourage others to take action.
We also encourage you to write to The West Australian and The Sunday Times.
At the bottom of this page are the contact details for newspapers in our high priority areas, as well as the state-wide newspapers.
VOLUNTEER AT A STALL
You might have already seen us at a community stall. Maybe that’s how you got involved.
Volunteering your time to help us at a community stall is a valuable contribution. By being present in the community, we can talk to other supporters about how to get involved, and raise the profile of our campaign by being visible. As the campaign intensifies we’ll be running even more stalls.
Get in touch with our community campaign coordinator and let him know when you’re available to help out: email@example.com or phone 0437 902 710.
JOIN US AT A PHONING SESSION
Members of Parliament aren’t the only people we need to call. Dying with Dignity WA has thousands of supporters, and we need your help to get in touch with them and encourage them to take action, just like you have.
Our phone sessions are run at various times throughout the week. At your first phone session one of our volunteer leaders will provide you with all of the training and information you need to get started. We’ll be with you every step of the way.
Get in touch with our field organiser and let him know when you’re available to help out: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0437 902 710.
TALK TO FAMILY, FRIENDS & COLLEAGUES
There is nothing more powerful than a one on one conversation with someone you know.
Help us spread the word: this issue is coming up for debate and the time for action is now. Talk to your family, friends and colleagues: tell them what’s going on, encourage them to step up, to contact their Members of Parliament or to volunteer with you.
You can also spread the word on social media. Share your story alongside a photo for the most powerful impact. If you don’t have any photos, you can take one holding the sign on the back cover of this booklet.
MLC CONTACT LISTS
North Metropolitan Region
For the full map visit www.dwdwa.org.au/metro-north
Hon Peter Collier MLC
08 9203 9588
Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC
08 9344 1686
Hon Michael Mischin MLC
08 9301 1896
Hon Martin Pritchard MLC
08 9201 0582
Hon Tjorn Sibma MLC
08 9440 4422
Hon Alison Xamon MLC
08 9388 3955
East Metropolitan Region
For the full map visit www.dwdwa.org.au/metro-east
Hon Tim Clifford MLC
08 9274 8484
Hon Alanna Clohesy MLC
08 9272 1718
Hon Donna Faragher MLC
08 9379 0840
Hon Samantha Rowe MLC
08 9477 3855
Hon Charles Smith MLC
08 9250 7901
Hon Matthew Swinbourn MLC
08 9452 8311
South Metropolitan Region
For the full map visit www.dwdwa.org.au/metro-south
Hon Kate Doust MLC
08 9470 3511
Hon Sue Ellery MLC
08 9312 1566
Hon Nick Goiran MLC
08 9398 3800
Hon Simon O’Brien MLC
08 9364 4277
Hon Aaron Stonehouse MLC
08 9226 3550
Hon Pierre Yang MLC
08 9337 9176
South West Region
For the full map visit www.dwdwa.org.au/south-west
Hon Diane Evers MLC
08 9486 8070
Hon Adele Farina MLC
08 9721 1165
Hon Colin Holt MLC
08 9724 1181
Hon Sally Talbot MLC
08 9725 3711
Hon Steve Thomas MLC
08 9757 9555
Hon Colin Tincknell MLC
08 9486 8106
For the full map visit www.dwdwa.org.au/agricultural
Hon Martin Aldridge MLC
08 9576 0141
Hon Jim Chown MLC
08 9481 0082
Hon Colin de Grussa MLC
08 9921 4818
Hon Laurie Graham MLC
08 9621 1999
Hon Rick Mazza MLC
08 9481 6070
Hon Darren West MLC
08 9964 1001
Mining and Pastoral Region
For the full map visit www.dwdwa.org.au/mining-pastoral
Hon Ken Baston MLC
08 9193 7044
Hon Jacqui Boydell MLC
08 9144 4187
Hon Robin Chapple MLC
08 9486 8255
Hon Stephen Dawson MLC
08 9172 2648
Hon Kyle McGinn MLC
08 9022 7003
Hon Robin Scott MLC
08 9093 1455
Letters to the Editor
If you need assistance finding your local paper’s letters-to-editor address details or if you would like someone to read over your letter before you send it, get in touch: email email@example.com or phone 0408 000 058.
The West Australian firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sunday Times email@example.com
The Australian firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern Gazette email@example.com
Stirling Times firstname.lastname@example.org
Wanneroo Times email@example.com
Weekend Courier firstname.lastname@example.org
Manjimup-Bridgetown Times email@example.com
The Advocate (Swan Valley region) firstname.lastname@example.org
Canning Times email@example.com
The Senior firstname.lastname@example.org
Avon Valley Advocate email@example.com
Bunbury Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Esperance Express email@example.com
Mandurah Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Augusta-Margaret River Times email@example.com
Busselton-Dunsborough Times firstname.lastname@example.org
The Examiner email@example.com
Great Southern Weekender firstname.lastname@example.org
Halls Creek Herald email@example.com
Harvey Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
Sound Telegraph email@example.com
South West Times firstname.lastname@example.org
Busselton-Dunsborough Mail email@example.com
Fremantle Gazette firstname.lastname@example.org
Guardian Express email@example.com
Melville Times firstname.lastname@example.org
If you hear voluntary assisted dying being discussed on talkback radio and feel comfortable sharing your story, you can reach the relevant radio station with the below contact details.
882 6PR News Talk Talkback 08 9 22 11 882
ABC Radio Perth Talkback 1300 222 720
SMS Line 0437 922 720
You can download a PDF copy of our 'HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED' booklet by clicking on the image on the right or here.
It contains all the information that has been provided above.