Alex's Update Issue 224

Alex's Update Issue 224

Tuesday 4 July 2017

Alex's Update Issue 224: Monday 3 July 2017 Voluntary Assisted Dying, Prison Reform, Noise Protection, Visas & Citizenship, Mental Health Month & Volunteer Awards



I’m holding a forum about our draft Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 5.30 for 6pm Thursday 13 July in the NSW Parliament Theatrette. Speakers include The Hon Trevor Khan MLC, President of NSW Dying with Dignity Sarah Edelman and City of Sydney Councillor Linda Scott. RSVP

The bill, drafted by the multi-party NSW Parliamentary Working Group on Assisted Dying, would provide an option for people who are terminally ill and experiencing severe pain, suffering or physical incapacity to request and receive assistance from medical practitioners to end their lives voluntarily and includes strong safeguards. We should not prolong pain, suffering and distress for terminally ill people against their wishes. The bill: You can comment on the bill by 17 July to [email protected]


Despite most major crime categories having fallen or stayed stable since 2001, NSW prisoner numbers have reached a record 13,000+, with the highest jumps in women and Aboriginal people in jail. NSW prisons are overflowing and the government is now building a massive new 1,700 bed facility at Grafton. See the excellent article in The Big Smoke

In Parliament, I’ve been pushing for a new approach to crime and incarceration that  diverts people from crime, prevent re-offending and helps rehabilitate prisoners back into the community. My recent questions:


The EPA is reviewing the Protection of the Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation but does not propose tightening rules about noisy vehicles. If you would like stronger controls, send your comments in before 7 July. Details:


In Parliament, I raised concerns that Commonwealth changes to visas and citizenship risk Australia’s competitiveness in some industries and our reputation as a welcoming country. We need a fair process for people who contribute to the community and seek to become Australian citizens and no case has been made for urgent and retrospective changes including to those already with permanent residence. Australia is a nation of migrants and we should make sure that those granted permanent residence can become full citizens without long delays. My


Mental Health Month is in October and you can nominate to recognise people or groups for their excellent work at NSW Parliament. There are small grants of $500 or $1,000 to run projects including specific categories for work with young people, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, Aboriginal people and LGBTI community. Nominations close 31 July. Details

I hope that the mental health services review ensures that tragic deaths like that of Ms Miriam Merten after her restraint and seclusion in Lismore Hospital in 2014 never occur again. There will be workshops and submissions, with the report due 8 December. Details:

You can also make submissions to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Management of Health Care Delivery in NSW. The closing date has been extended to 31 July:

Anyone with concerns about healthcare treatment can ask the independent Health Care Complaints Commission to investigate, telephone 1800 043 159 or

Let's work together to celebrate and protect our great city!