The legislative assembly of the Australian Capital Territory has just opened an inquiry into End of Life Choices in the A.C.T.
With the example of Victoria before them, they seem to have moved smartly to follow suit, with a comprehensive terms of reference and a full year before they have to report.
Included in their terms of reference is the provision where Federal Government some years ago withdrew the right of States and Territories to write their own law on this matter. This was prompted by a Northern Territory decision to legalise voluntary euthanasia for its people. This Federal law will have to be overturned before progress can be made in any State or Territory - another big challenge for the movement.
However, in Australia, as in New Zealand, it is becoming clear that new law is no longer a matter of if, but when. The mood of our communities and the opinions of broad samples of our societies seem to be making that clear.
It is right that every jurisdiction should investigate its own needs thoroughly. If NZ is dragging its heels in what some see to be a liberal rush to respond to perceived community needs, let it be because the matter will be thoroughly and impartially investigated, not because some powerful minority groups are exercising undue influence in slowing down the decision-making.