Voluntary assisted dying inquiry coming to Bundaberg


Residents can have their say on aged care, end-of-life and palliative care and voluntary assisted dying at a public hearing in Bundaberg next week.

The Queensland Parliament’s Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee will meet in Bundaberg on 16 July.

Committee chair Aaron Harper MP is hoping for a strong turnout to inform the committee’s landmark inquiry.

Last week the committee heard from medical specialists, healthcare providers, nurses and general practitioners, as well as local community members from Longreach and Brisbane.

“A common theme being shared by stakeholders is the need for further resourcing, easier access and better integration of services of both aged care and end-of-life and palliative care services” Mr Harper said.

“It is not just local community members who’ve told us it is difficult to navigate the health and aged care systems when caring for older people and people who have terminal illness.

“The need for a streamlined process and further education for both medical practitioners and community members has been suggested by a number of experts and individuals.

“It is also important to acknowledge the additional challenges faced by regional and remote areas of Queensland, and we are hoping that the people of the Wide Bay Burnett Region can help us to understand what is and isn’t working in the aged care sector and palliative care services in these areas.”

The inquiry is also providing an opportunity for Queenslanders to express their views on voluntary assisted dying, and whether new laws should be introduced to allow this in Queensland.

Laws have just been introduced in Victoria, enabling citizens to access voluntary assisted dying and a Ministerial Expert panel’s report in Western Australia last week recommended the introduction of laws in WA.

People can register to attend and speak at the forum by calling 1800 504 022.

The Bundaberg public hearing will be held at the Burnett Riverside Motel on Tuesday, 16 July from 12 noon to 3pm.

A Hervey Bay public hearing will also be held, at the Hervey Bay RSL on Monday, 15 July from 3.30pm to 6.30pm.

People can register to attend and speak at the forum by calling 1800 504 022.

The committee must report its findings for the Inquiry into Aged Care, End-of-Life and Palliative Care and Voluntary Assisted Dying by 30 November 2019.