ACT Labor and Greens politicians are in talks with their federal counterparts about launching a cross-party bid to scrap a 20-year-old law that stops the territory from being able to legislate on voluntary assisted dying.
Victoria's Upper House passed historic legislation on Wednesday to give terminally ill people the right to ask to end their own lives.
United by the pain of watching a parent suffer at the end of their life, Greens crossbencher Caroline Le Couteur and Labor backbencher Tara Cheyne say their parties have spoken with senators Richard Di Natale and Katy Gallagher about trying to dump Andrews Bill.
In 1996, then Howard government backbencher Kevin Andrews introduced laws to overrule the Northern Territory's legalisation of euthanasia and to stop the ACT and Norfolk Island from passing similar legislation.
Senators Gallagher and Di Natale co-sponsored a bill last year to try and overturn the restriction, saying it was undemocratic, however it is yet to be debated.
Ms Le Couteur said with a Victorian scheme days away from being passed, it would be easier to convince federal parliamentarians of the need for a similar discussion in the ACT.
"We deserve the right to have this conversation and the fact the legislation has almost been passed in Victoria means we'll be abl to have a much better and much more informed conversation in Canberra, as soon as our colleagues allow us," Ms Le Couteur said.
Ms Cheyne said there was support more broadly in federal Labor to repeal the Andrews Bill, although the party had no policy on assisted dying itself.
Senator Gallagher told Fairfax Media she had long advocated for reform of assisted dying laws after watching her parents die from cancer but changes needed to include "appropriate protections"
If the law was scrapped, Labor and the Greens would push for a conscience vote in the ACT Legislative Assembly on voluntary assisted dying.
Ms Le Couteur said they would first have an extensive "conversation" with Canberra before bringing any legislation forward.
"I think the important thing is not so much what I want or Ms Cheyne wants. What we're both saying is this is an important issue for the people of Canberra," Ms Le Couteur said.
"I will admit I was disappointed that the [Victorian] Upper House changed it so you had to have an expectation of death within six months rather than a year, that aspect of the Victorian legislation I would not like to see replicated in the ACT but I think the important thing is that once we get the right to discuss this legislation Canberra needs to have a community conversation that will take some time about what the people of Canberra want to see happen."
Ms Cheyne would not speculate on whether there were enough numbers in the ACT Assembly, or even within her own party, to pass voluntary assisted dying laws even if Andrews Bill was repealed.
She said it was a question for individual politicians, but votes would likely hinge on the types of safeguards in place.
"With regard to the Victorian legislation I think it's really important to note it's the most conservative model in the world, it's the safest, it's got the most number of safeguards in it, and the fact that an Australian jurisdiction could soon have a workable scheme is a really good starting point for any other jurisdiction including the ACT to begin to have more thorough community consultation but we must get that federal legislation overturned so it's not moot," Ms Cheyne said.
However Canberra Liberals leader Alistair Coe said his party would not lobby to overturn Andrews Bill.
He said voluntary euthanasia was a conscience issue for his party but took aim at the ACT's "chaotic and mismanaged" health system.
"We do not think that the Labor-Greens government is capable of administering or implementing euthanasia laws," Mr Coe said.