Country Liberal Sam McMahon is holding out hope that her territory rights bill could still pass Parliament, despite her government saying it had "no plans" to help repeal the federal ban on the ACT and Northern Territory making their own euthanasia laws.
Senator McMahon believes that while the government might not support territory rights, the Federal Parliament "may have other ideas".
But with Labor signaling that it too won't support the bill, that now appears extremely unlikely.
The two territories' push to regain the right to legislate on assisted dying has hit a major roadblock after federal Attorney-General Michaelia Cash confirmed her government had no intention of bringing on debate to repeal the so-called Andrews Bill.
The ACT and Northern Territory governments last week issued a joint statement condemning the Morrison government's position, which they say showed contempt for the concerns of their citizens.
The federal government's stance would appear to have quashed any hope that territory rights could be restored in this term of Parliament, given an election is on the horizon. The Canberra Times has been campaigning for the bill to be repealed as part of its Our Right to Decide campaign.
But the architect of the bill to reinstate the Northern Territory's right to make euthanasia laws is refusing to concede defeat.
While Senator McMahon's bill is different to the one passed in 1997, it would have the same effect of allowing the Northern Territory's parliament to again legislate on voluntary assisted dying.
The ACT was excluded from the bill after ACT Liberal senator Zed Seselja signaled that he wouldn't support his Coalition colleague's proposal.
In a statement, Senator McMahon criticised the ACT and Northern Territory Labor government's for their "nefarious" interpretation of Senator Cash's letter.
"When Minister Cash said the "government" had no plans to change the laws she is correct," she said.
"However, the Parliament may have other ideas and we will see when my Private Senator's Bill - Ensuring Northern Territory Rights is debated and voted on."
Senator McMahon, who previously expressed confidence that her bill would pass the upper house if it was put to a vote, pointed out that it was Federal Parliament, not the government, which passed the Andrews Bill in 1997.
There is however one key difference between the two private members bill.
Whereas Liberal backbencher Kevin Andrews' bill had the blessing of then Prime Minister John Howard in 1997, Sam McMahon's proposal has received no such endorsement from Scott Morrison or Barnaby Joyce.
MORE OUR RIGHT TO DECIDE CAMPAIGN
Senator McMahon's standing has also diminished after she lost a preselection contest earlier this year, which means she'll exit federal politics at the next election.
In her statement, Senator McMahon accused the Northern Territory of "faux outrage" after it condemned Senator Cash's position, having not made a submission to a federal parliamentary inquiry into her bill.
The ACT government made a submission outlining its case for the Andrews Bill to be repealed.
The committee which conducted the inquiry made no recommendations. However, Labor senator Kim Carr used his minority report to declare the opposition strongly backed the rights of the territories to decide their own euthanasia laws.
Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus on Monday told ABC radio in Darwin that Labor supported territory rights.
However, Mr Dreyfus said if a bill was related to assisted dying - as the Andrews law is - Labor members would likely be granted a conscience vote. The Canberra Times understands Labor caucus has yet to agree on a formal policy position on the issue.
Mr Dreyfus signaled Labor wouldn't support Senator McMahon's bill, partly because it excluded the ACT but also due to concerns her legislation would allow land to be acquired without compensation.
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