AFTER years of passionate debate, months of political processes and nearly a hundred amendments, voluntary assisted dying was made legal in NSW on Thursday.
The voluntary assisted dying bill passed the lower house of Parliament, after it voted to accept amendments from the upper house which had been debated for about 10 hours over two days.
All members of Parliament were given a conscience vote on the matter, with a final vote of support 23 to 15 given in the upper house.
Member for Albury Justin Clancy, who had previously voiced his opposition to the bill, confirmed on Thursday he had voted "no" to the move.
The vote makes NSW the final state to introduce assisted dying laws after the matter was first debated in state Parliament 20 years ago.
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Wagga-based voluntary assisted dying advocate and Dying with Dignity NSW member Geo Burch said it was a huge relief to see the "just, empathetic" bill pass after such a long-running campaign.
"When [the debate is] finally concluded it's just elation for everyone that's fought so hard," he said.
Wagga MLC Wes Fang chaired an inquiry into the bill and presided over a number of debates throughout the process, and said it was a "privilege" to be part of passing a bill that "will make a real difference in people's lives across NSW".
"I think the bill was robust [and] I think the safeguards were appropriate," he said.
The voluntary assisted dying bill was introduced by independent MP Alex Greenwich last year along with 28 co-sponsors after a series of previous bills were defeated.
Following the NSW result, Prime Minister Scott Morrison doubled down on the Coalition government's stance to not overturn a federal law that bans the territories from legislating on voluntary assisted dying.
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