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Time to end the attacks on Territory Rights

In response to the Coalition today introducing a second bill in less than three months seeking to violate the ACT’s right to self-government, independent Senator David Pocock said the attacks on territory rights from interstate senators have to stop.

Senator Pocock said this pattern of trying to interfere with the lawful exercise of power by a democratically elected government raises serious concerns and he questioned the Coalition’s true agenda.

“I am deeply concerned by first a Nationals Senator from North Queensland and now a Liberal Senator from WA reaching in and trying to undermine our rights to self-government,” Senator Pocock said.

“We fought for decades to overturn the Andrews bill which curbed our ability to exercise our democratic rights.

“What the Coalition is trying to do with these bills would set a dangerous precedent for when the ACT Government comes to legislate voluntary assisted dying, now we have regained the right to do so.

“ACT Opposition Leader Elizabeth Lee has defended territory rights in the face of this latest attack.”

Senator David Pocock today called on Shadow Attorney-General WA Senator Michaelia Cash to rule out any federal challenges to the ACT’s future voluntary assisted dying laws.

“I’m concerned that Senator Cash seeking to nullify an ACT law and override a democratically elected government is a step on the way to challenging voluntary assisted dying laws, if and when they are legislated,” Senator Pocock said. 

“The Senate recently, and unanimously, voted to repeal the Andrews Bill and to allow the territories to self-govern as the states do. I’m asking the Federal Coalition - today - to put the democratic rights of the ACT people front and centre and rule out any future challenge to the ACT’s voluntary assisted dying laws.

“The Federal Coalition needs to stop playing politics with our democratic rights.”

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