15 August 2018


SUBJECT/S: Racism, Territory Rights

SENATOR MALARNDIRRI MCCARTHY, SENATOR FOR THE NORTHERN TERRITORY: With all the news that is happening in the Country this morning about what is happening in Italy our thoughts are certainly our thoughts are with the people or Italy in terms of the tragedy that is unfolding at the moment.

Here in the Federal Parliament of Australia, the other news that is most concerning is the Frist Speech of Senator Anning, he is being called on to apologise, he should apologise, he has offended a great deal of Australians in terms of his comments and I think that would be the decent thing to do this morning.

Also last night I gave my speech in the Senate in terms of the bill to restore Territorys rights and I certainly support very much the bill to restore the Territorys rights. I spoke very passionately in terms of the rights of the people in the Northern Territory to make their own decision, the Northern Territory legislative assembly to be able to do that and this is an example of how it can be done.

I spoke also of the fact that when I was the member for Arnhem in the Northern Territory, one of the most disempowering moments from when I was a politician was when the Federal Government intervened in the Northern Territory in 2007.

In my speech, I spoke very much about the fact that 25 members of the Northern Territory Assembly also spoke enormously passionately back in 1995 and 1996 about an issue still impacts this country today and that is euthanasia.

I would certainly like to see the bill pass. I urge all Senators to consider deeply the rights of the people in the Northern Territory to make their own decisions.

REPORTER: Do you support euthanasia?

MCCARTHY: Actually, I spoke about the fact in my language Yanyuwa and Garawa that we dont have a word for euthanasia and we struggle with that on a very personal level, I struggle with that on a very personal level. And it would be a different conversation if I was in the Northern Territory parliament today in terms of that debate. But I am not I am a Senator for the Northern Territory and I certainly respect the right of the Northern Territory to make legislation for the people that they represent.

REPORTER: Do you think the bill will get up?

MCCARTHY: I certainly hope that David Leyonhjelms Bill will get up; I think it is important in this Country. The people in the Northern Territory and the ACT have the empowered vote again to make their own decisions and their conscience in terms of the decisions in 1995 and 1996 to enact the rights of the Terminally Ill Act in the Northern Territory that was based on their conscience decision, I said in the Senate last night, what makes the consciences of the Senators in this place any greater or less than the less of the consciences of those that made a decision at that time.