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Greens' announce drug policy reform

Leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale has announced that the party has reached consensus on a major reform to its drugs policy at its national conference in Perth.

“For more than half a century we’ve been pursuing a series of failed policies that criminalise a health problem and have only succeeded in making it worse.”

“Working as a drug and alcohol doctor I've seen our punitive approach embolden criminals, tear families apart and destroy the lives of thousands of ordinary people who have used drugs.”

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Restoring Territory Rights (Dying with Dignity) Bill 2016

Senator DI NATALE

I move:

(1) That so much of standing orders be suspended as would prevent this resolution having effect.

(2) That the Restoring Territory Rights (Dying with Dignity) Bill 2016 be restored to the Notice Paper and that consideration of the bill be resumed at the stage reached in the last session of the previous Parliament.

Question agreed to.

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Motion - International Overdose Awareness Day

I move: That the Senate— (a) notes that:

(i)   today is the 15th annual International Overdose Awareness Day, commemorating all those who have died or been seriously injured due to drug overdose, and

(ii)   six people lose their lives to preventable overdose in Australia each day; and

(b) calls on the Government to address the rising rates of harm associated with drug use by implementing and appropriately resourcing evidence-based harm reduction policies, including:

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Opening of the 45th Parliament

I begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land that we are meeting on, the Ngunawal people, and I want to pay my respects to their elders past and present. I want to acknowledge that their land was stolen and never ceded, and I look forward to a respectful dialogue in the 45th Parliament to achieve a just settlement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in this country.

Our Constitution says:

… the Senate shall have equal power with the House of Representatives in respect of all proposed laws.

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Don't punish doctors for voluntary euthanasia: Greens

Australian Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale has restated his party's intention to introduce laws to enable dying with dignity, in light of the police investigation into a Perth GP.

"Around Australia people overwhelmingly support the right of terminally ill people to end their lives on their own terms, and the law should reflect that," said Senator Di Natale, himself a former GP.

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Greens propose work-around to provide HIV prevention drug

The Greens are calling on the Federal Government to support personal importation of an HIV 'wonder drug' that has just been denied listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, to protect those who are most at risk.

"We simply cannot leave Australians at unnecessary risk, when this drug gives us the chance to end HIV transmission in Australia," said Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale, a former public health specialist who has worked on HIV prevention in India.

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Greens will introduce national Dying with Dignity laws

Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale has attended the unveiling of Andrew Denton's new organisation Go Gentle Australia, and has committed to introducing Australia's first ever national Dying with Dignity laws during the upcoming term of parliament.

"Dying with dignity is a social justice issue, it's a human rights issue, it's a public health issue and it should not be pushed to the political margins," Senator Di Natale said.

"I welcome Andrew Denton's campaign to bring the need for euthanasia reforms into the spotlight.

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