Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (12:17): My question is to the Minister for Health. Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party has long supported the need for individual freedom when it comes to ending one’s life. The Andrews government should be commended on the passage of the voluntary assisted dying laws in the last Parliament. However, there are a number of concerns that members of the community hold regarding the existing laws being too restrictive and inaccessible. The use of voluntary assisted euthanasia since July this year in Victoria is reported to be well below initial estimates. When the laws passed the Parliament, they set a requirement for a terminally ill patient to meet with a general practitioner and a specialist. For some illnesses the general practitioner may also be the specialist, which eliminates the need for terminally ill people to be placed on month-long waiting lists. However, it appears the public may not be fully aware of this. Can the minister indicate how many people have utilised Victoria’s voluntary euthanasia program since its inception?
Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (12:21): I thank the minister for her response. I shall look into that report in detail. My supplementary question relates to the safeguards that the minister mentioned. Can the minister indicate whether the Andrews government is considering implementing a public awareness campaign so that there is greater understanding about the program and uptake for those who satisfy its 69 safeguards?