The ACT's Deputy Opposition Leader said the debate about territory rights could extend beyond the matter of voluntary assisted dying, arguing the territory could advocate to raise its own police force.
Giulia Jones said she accepted the natural progression for the ACT to have greater self-determination, despite the fact she is an opponent of voluntary assisted dying.
"Over time, it's reasonable for the people of the ACT to want self determination, it's a natural human desire and the Canberra Liberals support that natural progression as it occurs," Mrs Jones said.
"I'm not a proponent of euthanasia personally, I mean I try to convince people to value what they've got and live as long as they can.
"But neither am I here to tell people what to do."
Mrs Jones said while voluntary assisted dying and territory rights were separate issues, that for many they were linked.
"They aren't the same, but they are entangled, and I think it's fair to say, nothing is simple in this world," she said.
"It's a complicated debate because, as a conservative, I don't want to be responsible for the change, but on the other hand I respect the voters of the ACT and their rights and their desire for greater rights, because that's natural and normal.
"We in the Liberal party believe in freedom... and devolving power down, not up."
Earlier this year, the Canberra Liberals' caucus agreed to take the position that territory rights should be restored, but the party would allow for a conscience vote on the matter if the ACT was given the right to legislate on euthanasia.
The ACT has not had the right to debate the issue since 1997, after federal Liberal MP Kevin Andrews introduced a bill to ban the territories from doing so. This was in response to the NT legalising it in 1995.
Mrs Jones spokes to The Canberra Times, ahead of a forum on Wednesday night, held by The Australia Institute, on the issue of territory rights. Mrs Jones was on the panel along with Human Rights Minister Tara Cheyne and Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury.
In the forum, Mrs Jones planned to speak about the issue of the ACT being able to raise its own police force, which under Commonwealth legislation it cannot do.
"I certainly formed the view that we may not being as well served as we could be by having a contract with police force, and that's covered in exactly the same part of the self government that this issue is as well," she said.
"If we were having a debate just about territory rights, then I'd be talking about our police force, because it's one of the things that I really feel there is a bit of an injustice.
"In my mind, we could be better served."
Ms Cheyne said conservative values should not get in the way of territory rights.
"Letting conservative values get in the way of democracy and democratic rights sits very uncomfortably with me as a representative and I hope it sits uncomfortably with representatives no matter what party they're from," she said.
- Laws on voluntary assisted dying would not be 'rammed through'
- Push to put euthanasia bill on Labor campaign agenda
- 'I couldn't walk away from her': Why Mary-Anne stood by her mother
- NT Senator lashes Labor's 'false' Zed euthanasia attack
- ACT would pass 'most extreme' euthanasia laws if given chance: Zed Seselja
While Ms Cheyne is a strong supporter of legalising voluntary assisted dying, she said she understood many weren't but that it shouldn't get in the way with the territory having the right to legislate on the matter.
She pointed to ACT Labor federal member David Smith, who personally opposes euthanasia but backs territory rights.
"It is possible to have the views separate even though of course they're necessarily related," she said.
"But [those politicians] don't let that interfere with the representation of the citizens who they've been elected to speak for and advocate for."
Mr Rattenbury said the restoration of territory rights and voluntary assisted dying legislation needed to be seen as a two-step process.
"I think you have to separate the two out, I think the matter of territory rights is one of significant principle," he said.
"I particularly acknowledge those people who don't agree with euthanasia but agree we should get rid of the Andrews bill.
"It's hard not to intertwine them because by its definition, the Andrews bill was about euthanasia so it's hard not to have the two in the same discussion but I think this is a two-step process and we need to see it in that way."
- This story is part of Our Right To Decide campaign. The Canberra Times is advocating for the ACT to have the right to legislate on voluntary assisted dying, like other states.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: