Weekend Wrap for 17 October 2021

Welcome to the NSL Weekend Wrap for 17 October 2021, where you can catch up on the latest secular-related news from around the country.

At the National Level

Around the Country

WA: The McGowan Government has passed legislation to extend mandatory reporting requirements to ministers of religion, early childhood workers, out-of-home care workers, registered psychologists, school counsellors and youth justice workers. (WA Government)

NSW: Politicians from across the political spectrum have come together to co-sponsor a bill in the New South Wales Parliament to allow terminally ill people to end their own lives. (ABC News)

NSW: A look at the upcoming VAD debate in NSW, the only state now without VAD legislation. (Nine News)

NSW: Liberal MP and VAD bill co-sponsor Leslie Williams says that the multi partisan support across parliament for the NSW VAD legislation was an acknowledgement that it was a human rights issue that transcended politics. (ABC News)

NSW: Former premier Bob Carr has changed his mind about voluntary assisted dying and now supports legalising it in NSW. (SMH)

NSW: Harrowing stories of suffering have been read in the NSW parliament as a bill to legalise voluntary assisted dying was introduced. (Daily Telegraph)

NSW: In the face of legalised VAD, it's reported that data from the National Coronial Information System shows that in 2019 there were 495 deaths reported to the NSW Coroner where a person died as a result of an act of intentional self-harm. (SMH)

NSW: Australia’s largest Catholic health and aged care organisation is lobbying NSW MPs to oppose voluntary assisted dying, with a concerted push to stop NSW becoming the final state in the country to legalise euthanasia. (SMH)

VIC: The Rationalist Society of Australia is urging the Andrews government to commit to providing “secular” and “qualified” youth workers for Victorian schoolchildren in addition to its pledge to boost mental health services. (RSA)

NSW: NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has said that he would work to support the LGBTQI community and to ensure that they are not discriminated against in the state. (Star Observer)

NSW: The Today Show host has grilled the new premier about his views on abortion and mandatory sex abuse reporting for Catholic priests. (news.com.au)

SAThe ACL's Christopher Brohier noted that proposed changes to the Equal Opportunity Act in South Australia, which would potentially have affected the airing of religious-based views on gender, have been shelved. (ACL)

NSW: Most religious services in Sydney will remain online-only for another two weeks as faith leaders grapple with the state health order excluding unvaccinated people. (SMH)

Commentary and Analysis

Events and Advisories

Minister for Human Rights, Tara Cheyne, is running a petition calling on the Australian government to restore the right of Territories to pass laws on VAD. She also recommends people email the Commonwealth Attorney-General with their views, at attorney@ag.gov.au.

Fiona Newton is petitioning Federal and State Education Ministers to ban Hillsong Church from proselytising in Australian Schools.

Sign up to the #DontDivideUs campaign currently being run by a group of pro-secular groups including the NSL, to act against the proposed Religious Discrimination Bill.

Dying With Dignity NSW are petitioning the NSW Parliament to work together to deliver voluntary assisted dying laws in 2021.

Dying With Dignity NSW has a tool that makes it easy for people to contact their federal MPs and senators to request help in repealing the "Andrews Bill", the 1997 legislation which denies the Territories the right to pass legislation on Voluntary Assisted Dying.

The Human Rights for NSW alliance has launched a campaign calling for NSW to pass a Human Rights Act.

That's it for another week!

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