‘The day compassion won’: Siobhan takes comfort from voluntary dying laws

“Now our focus must shift to the federal parliament and it’s incumbent on our colleagues and federal partners to pass laws to allow the territories to be able to legislate for this compassion.”

Greenwich, who also had the strong backing of fellow independent MP Greg Piper, said the passage of the abortion and assisted dying bills showed that independents and minor parties could achieve major reform.

“These were two major and long-overdue reforms. I’m really proud of the role that I’ve been able to play in achieving this state but that would not have been possible without my parliamentary colleagues,” Greenwich said.

The bill passed the lower house in November 53 votes to 36, and 23 to 15 votes in the upper house. The former Greens MP Ian Cohen introduced the state’s first euthanasia bill in 2002, which only secured the support of four MPs.

However, an opponent of Greenwich’s bill, Finance Minister Damien Tudehope, told the upper house on Thursday that it was a “dark day” for NSW as it joined the rest of the country in accepting assisted dying laws.

“It was a sad day because it was an opportunity for NSW to say ‘we can be better than this’,” Tudehope said.

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