The ACT government looks set to wait until after the upcoming federal election before deciding whether to take the issue of territory rights to an international arena.
The push to restore the territories' right to legislate on voluntary assisted dying has suffered a major setback after federal Attorney-General Michaelia Cash confirmed the Commonwealth government had no plans to repeal the Andrews Bill.
Both the ACT and Northern Territory governments have accused the Commonwealth of breaching international laws over the ban.
ACT Human Rights Minister Tara Cheyne said earlier this year she would consider taking the matter to "an international stage", including going to the United Nations.
After receiving the response from Senator Cash, Ms Cheyne said it was still on the table but she would wait for the federal election, as she expected it would become a key issue.
"We do have a federal election coming and this is an election issue ... we will not let this go," Ms Cheyne said.
"But we have these two opportunities in the coming months that don't cost us anything in terms of time but also financial cost."
Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese has personally expressed support for territory rights and ACT Senator Katy Gallagher is pushing for territory rights to become part of the Labor party platform.
Ms Cheyne also said she would look closely at a bill from Northern Territory Country Liberal Senator Sam McMahon which seeks to allow the NT the right to legislate on voluntary assisted dying.
The ACT was omitted from this bill but if it is brought up for debate an amendment could be made to add the ACT.
Senator McMahon has expressed confidence her bill would pass but Ms Cheyne was doubtful after the NT senator lost a preselection ballot for the territory's top senate spot on the Country Liberal ticket.
"I'm not so sure given she was unceremoniously dumped from the Liberal Party," Ms Cheyne said.
"But if it is brought up for debate ... I would be asking [senators] to really look deep inside themselves and whether they would be happy with their own conscience to let it proceed and to render the ACT even more unfairly discriminated against."
ACT Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury said he would bring up the matter at the next meeting of attorneys-general.
"I will be very clear that it is time the law was changed and that the ACT and the Northern Territory can be treated the same way the rest of Australia is," he said.
"We should be entitled to have that debate and our citizens should have the same opportunities as other citizens in Australia.
"I hope that's a message that the attorney-general will see the logic in and will be able to persuade her party room on the big hill to give that ACT that opportunity."
The Legislative Assembly on Friday morning passed a motion denouncing the federal attorney-general's letter.
MORE OUR RIGHT TO DECIDE CAMPAIGN
ACT Opposition Leader Elizabeth Lee also said it was disappointing a repeal of the Andrews Bill was not on the agenda.
The Canberra Liberals have also called on the federal government to allow the ACT the right to legislate on voluntary assisted dying.
"We believe firmly that as Canberrans we be the voice for Canberrans [and] should have the right to debate and legislate on an issue that impacts us," Ms Lee said.
However, Ms Lee said the ACT government did not inform the Liberals of Senator Cash's response prior to bringing the motion to the Assembly.
The Canberra Liberals supported a tripartisan motion earlier this year to call on the federal government to repeal the Andrews Bill. She was frustrated the same tripartisan approach was not offered to the Canberra Liberals again.
"It is incredibly disappointing then that Ms Cheyne and Mr Rattenbury have decided that they are now going to change tack," Ms Lee said.
The Canberra Times has been calling for the Andrews Bill to be repealed as part of its Our Right to Decide campaign.
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