Sep 14, 2021


Sep 14, 2021

Katter’s Australian Party MPs have today forced the State’s MPs to show their hand on delivering equitable, quality palliative care to all Queenslanders.

Unfortunately all Labor MPs denied the delivery of this vital service, and instead opted to push on with their Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) Bill 2021 which will provide euthanasia as an legal option to Queenslanders for the first time.

Using a rarely-used Parliamentary process, KAP Leader Robbie Katter moved and Amendment to delay any further progress on the VAD Bill until the Australian Medical Association’s and Palliative Care Queensland’s request for an additional $275 million in annual funding was provided.

He moved that the Bill not be “considered further until after the State Government has committed to provide the required additional funding of $275 million per year to palliative care delivery.”

The LNP and One Nation supported the Amendment, but it was defeated by Labor and other crossbenchers 53-37.

Mr Katter said VAD had clearly become an issue of the “haves” and “have nots”, and the Premier had backed the “haves”.

He said it was shameful the Bill’s supporters suggested it was about providing choice, but that there was little choice for many Queenslanders who wanted access to quality end-of-life care at present.

In Queensland, if the VAD Bill passes, euthanasia will be available to eligible Queenslanders 12 months out from death but palliative care is only currently available three months out.

“Today’s Amendment by the KAP was not about whether you support VAD or not,” Mr Katter said.

“It was about acknowledging that palliative care is not adequately funded or of a standard that is equitable across the State.
“We simply called for the legislation’s passing to be delayed until the annual $275 million shortfall in palliative care funding was addressed.

“The Members who voted against this effectively voted against adequate palliative care for all Queenslanders.

“The Member for Thuringowa, Aaron Harper, was particularly vocal in the debate, passing the buck to the Federal Government for any shortfalls in funding.

“By pointing the blame, and failing to back our Amendment, he and his Labor colleagues have effectively denied better palliative care to Queenslanders for patients at end-of-life.

“It was also highly disappointing that Health Minister, Yvette D’Ath, labelled our correct use of the Parliamentary Standing Orders to challenge the Government’s legislation a ‘stunt’.

”All Queenslanders deserve a voice – not just those who push the Government’s narrative.”