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Bandt to ask People's question

Media Release
Adam Bandt 7 Mar 2012

Greens MP Adam Bandt will ask the Prime Minister about voluntary euthanasia as part of the People's Question in Question Time next Wednesday.

Online citizen's activist group OurSay.Org announced the results of the People's Question today and revealed Mr Bandt's involvement.

"I am really pleased to be part of the People's Question and pleased to be able to ask the Prime Minister about this important issue", Mr Bandt said today.
"The old parties have vacated the political battlefield of ideas, so they shy away from advancing issues like dying with dignity, equal marriage and even funding better services through a bigger tax base, despite having popular support to do so."
"I think big reform of question time is needed. Question Time in the House of Representatives is the fulcrum of the Parliament and should be a key part of the keeping governments accountable. Along with the independents the Australian Greens were able to secure some important reforms to Question Time as part of the agreement to support minority government. Recently we have seen further improvements with the shift to a new speaker, but more reform is needed."
"Between the government and the Coalition, question time is a pale imitation of what it could be. Almost half of the period for questions are regularly lost to the Parliament because of the Opposition's tactics and the Government then ending Question Time early. The UK Parliament has a much better culture of government backbenchers using question time to take government to task. We somehow need to get rid of Dorothy Dixers which just allow the Minister to make a statement. The next step in question time reform needs to put a clamp on this."
"I am a long standing supporter of people's right to die with dignity. Every opinion poll since the eighties shows the vast majority of Australians back voluntary euthanasia legislation along the lines of that in the Netherlands and Oregon. Ideally we would have uniform national legislation, but it is likely change will need to come via the states and territories. Bob Brown has been campaigning for change for years and the Australian Greens have introduced bills in many of the States."

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