Local MP supports conscience vote

A BUNDABERG MP has welcomed state LNP leader Deb Frecklington’s intentions to allow party members a conscience vote on voluntary assisted dying.

Member for Bundaberg David Batt welcomed Ms Frecklington’s decision and said he would make his decision on how he votes once he knows the final details of a Bill on the issue, if it is drafted.

“The LNP has always allowed its MPs a conscience vote on legislation involving life and death issues and I welcome Deb Frecklington’s decision to continue this for any future debate on voluntary assisted dying,” he said.

“It is important to remember that the committee currently conducting the inquiry into aged care, end-of-life and palliative care and voluntary assisted dying will not report to the Legislative Assembly until 31 March 2020.

“I cannot pre-empt their findings. It will only be known after their report is tabled if a Bill will then be brought before state parliament and what that legislation will contain.”

It comes after pro-euthanasia groups praised Ms Frecklington for allowing her party to lead the way for a reform on the controversial issue.

“Voluntary Assisted Dying is a highly emotive and sensitive matter, and if a Bill is brought before state parliament, how I vote will be based on the extensive detail in the final Bill, the contents of the submissions made by the public and the feedback I have received from my constituents who I represent,” Mr Batt said.

“It is vital I hear directly from the people of Bundaberg. I am always happy to meet with residents to talk about their views and what they think could be done better or differently within our community.”

Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett declined to comment on the issue.