Nat min­is­ter to de­cide fate of eu­thana­sia law


The vote of the deputy leader of the NSW Na­tion­als, Niall Blair, is shap­ing as the one that will de­cide whether the state’s up­per house passes eu­thana­sia laws to­mor­row.

“No” cam­paign­ers be­lieved they had done enough to se­cure the votes of Na­tional MP Richard Col­less and Lib­eral Scot Mac­don­ald yes­ter­day, tak­ing the Yes-No vote sit­u­a­tion to 19-19 with only Mr Blair not declar­ing his hand.

A spokes­woman for Mr Blair re­peated yes­ter­day the Pri­mary In­dus­tries Min­is­ter would wait for the de­bate be­fore mak­ing a de­ci­sion on which way to vote.

But the “No” cam­paign be­lieves there is much more chance of killing the bill in the lower house in a vote next week, should Mr Blair vote ‘‘Yes’’ with most of his Na­tion­als col­leagues.

Num­bers done by The Aus­tralian yes­ter­day had the ‘‘No’’ vote in the 93-seat lower house at 42 with the ‘‘Yes’’ vote at 34, with 13 un­de­cided and four MPs un­able to be con­tacted.

Sev­eral min­is­ters de­clared they were un­de­cided yes­ter­day, in­clud­ing Trans­port Min­is­ter An­drew Con­stance and Po­lice Min­is­ter Troy Grant.

In the ‘‘No’’ camp is Pre­mier Gladys Bere­jik­lian, Trea­surer Do­minic Per­rot­tet, La­bor leader Luke Fo­ley, La­bor deputy leader Michael Da­ley and min­is­ters Pru Goward, Mark Speak­man and Gabrielle Up­ton.

In the ‘‘Yes’’ camp is Deputy Pre­mier John Bar­i­laro and a ma­jor­ity of coun­try-based MPs, who have sur­veyed their elec­torates and found over­whelm­ing sup­port for Na­tion­als MP Trevor Khan’s Vol­un­tary As­sisted Dy­ing Bill.

Mr Bar­i­laro said he had wres­tled hard with his de­ci­sion to sup­port the leg­is­la­tion, in­clud­ing with his Chris­tian faith, but it was his role to be the voice of his com­mu­nity in the par­lia­ment.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Vic­tor Dominello and Roads Min­is­ter Melinda Pavey are lean­ing to­wards vot­ing ‘‘Yes’’ while min­is­ters An­thony Roberts and David Elliott are in the ‘‘No’’ camp.

La­bor Trea­sury spokesman Ryan Park said he would sup­port the leg­is­la­tion. Some MPs last night in­di­cated they might change their minds on the vote de­pend­ing on whether there were more strict amend­ments of the con­di­tions around where eu­thana­sia could be ap­plied.

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