There may come a time, in the not too distant future, when the Queanbeyan resident sitting beside you in the office has a right which you, a Canberran, does not.
If the NSW parliament passes a bill soon to come before it to legalise voluntary euthanasia, residents over the border, who are suffering and dying, will have the right to choose to end their life.
Canberrans will not.
Not only that, their local parliament still won't even have the power to decide whether or not it wants its citizens to have that choice.
That has been the case for the more than 24 years since a bill spearhead by Liberal Kevin Andrews passed federal parliament.
It shouldn't be the case any longer.
That is why the The Canberra Times is today launching Our Right to Decide, a new campaign calling on federal parliament to repeal the laws which ban the ACT and NT from legislating on voluntary assisted dying.
We want the leaders of the two major parties - Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Labor leader Anthony Albanese - to make a commitment to prioritise debate in parliament on re-instating the two territories' right to decide.
If they won't, we want - and deserve - to know why. Why should Canberrans continue to have fewer democratic rights than other Australians?
There have been numerous attempts to repeal the bill in the past. Some have got closer than others. But all have failed.
We are advocating for the Canberra community to have the same rights as other states to have this crucial discussion and make its own decisions
Why should this time be any different? What has changed since 2018, for instance, when David Leyonhjelm's proposal was defeated by just two votes in the Senate?
Put simply, a lot.
At the time Andrews' bill was presented in September 1996, only the NT parliament had passed laws to legalise voluntary euthanasia.
There was, as Andrews said when he introduced his bill to the House of Representatives, a "national approach" of rejecting assisted dying.
That consensus no longer exists.
After Victoria became the first state to pass voluntary euthanasia laws in 2017, WA, Tasmania and most recently South Australia have followed suit.
Alex Greenwich's bill to legalise voluntary euthanasia in NSW is due to be presented next month, while legislation to allow the practice in Queensland was introduced to its parliament in May.
As former ACT chief minister and Liberal senator Gary Humphries said earlier this month, the "intellectual foundation" for the Andrews bill has crumbled.
The Canberra Times understands and respects the deeply held views on both sides of the euthanasia debate.
This campaign is not about advocating for assisted dying to be legalised.
We are advocating for the Canberra community to have the same rights as the states to have this crucial discussion and make its own decisions.
The ACT has been trusted with self government for more than 30 years.
The city, and its parliament, have grown up since 1997.
It is time we were given our right to decide.
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