At the Canberra National Press Club Conference on 1 October 1996, the former Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Marshall Perron, was the invited speaker. His speech has been regarded by some as being much more than a historical foundation stone but more like a historical strategic blueprint for achieving Voluntary Assisted Dying.
Marshall Perron’s address took place a few weeks after Kevin Andrews MHR, introduced a private member’s bill to overturn the NT Rights of the Terminally Ill Act, 1995 (this bill subsequently passed in the Senate on 27 March 1997).
“For those long-term Territorians like myself, it was a historic moment when the NT Rights of the Terminally Ill Act, 1995” legislation passed in the NT Parliament all that time ago,” says Sue Shearer Chief Executive of Council on the Aging NT (COTA NT). “We were left devastated when Federal Parliamentarians intervened and took away Territorians’ right to end of life choices. Marshall Perron’s address of 1996 says it all. 26 years later, we may have the right to choose again.”