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Burnett MP to vote against controversial voluntary assisted dying bill

steven bennett

The Member for Burnett will not support the voluntary assisted dying bill and is pushing for amendments to be made should the legislation pass.

Parliament has begun debating the bill, which would give a person who is terminally ill the option to access medical assistance to end their life.

State MPs have been granted a conscience vote on the highly emotive and controversial legislation.

However, Burnett MP Stephen Bennett is backing LNP leader David Crisafulli, who says the law would not guarantee high-quality palliative care for terminally ill patients.

LNP deputy leader David Janetzki tabled 54 amendments to address perceived issues around coercion and stronger safeguards for patients.

Speaking with Grant Broadcasters, Mr Bennett supports the amendments and says many community members also oppose the bill.

He feels it is fair to say views across the Burnett are split 50/50.

"It is about balancing not only my personal reflections, those of my immediate family, the personal experiences that we've shared together, but it is also listening and being cognisant of others in my electorate," Mr Bennett says.

"I'm fully resigned to the fact that the majority of people in the parliament will be probably supporting the bill, I've said publicly and I'll say it again, there's no doubt that the bill will pass.

"Me personally, I do have concerns about that… I will continue to voice those concerns.”

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Bundy MP backs the bill

ALP Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith is backing the bill in its original form.

Under the proposed laws, people seeking help to die must have a disease, illness or medical condition that is advanced, progressive and terminal.

Mr Smith says giving people the choice to end their life in a way that is dignified is the right thing to do.

"Go Gentle did a poll recently and 79 per cent of people in Bundaberg support voluntary assisted dying," he says.

"I've spoken to many people in our community who are of a very strong faith and their faith disagrees with this legislation, but at the end of the day they're not against this bill because they want to see any harm done to people."

MPs will continue debating the bill today, before it goes to a vote tomorrow.

If the legislation passes, Queensland will become the fifth state to legalise voluntary assisted dying.