The winter break is over and Victoria’s parliamentarians are set to return to passionate debate on whether they will give the state’s terminally ill a choice on when they die.
Legislation on assisted dying is not expected to be introduced when parliament resumes this week, but MPs will no doubt be grilled on their thoughts.
Premier Daniel Andrews hopes to see a vote on the scheme, which he says will be the “safest” in the world, by the end of 2017.
“What we know is many Victorians are not getting the care they need,” he said in July when announcing his government would adopt all 66 recommendations made by an expert panel.
“There is no solution to their unbearable pain and they are taking matters into their own hands (and) that leads to many tragic outcomes, that’s unacceptable to me.”
While the government has endorsed the report, not all Labor MPs will vote for it to become law.
Mr Andrews’ deputy, James Merlino, has long said he does not support euthanasia and reaffirmed his position during the winter break.
A passionate debate is anticipated and already tensions have started to mount thanks to a Right To Life leaflet campaign in nine electorates.
The government will also be bracing itself for a report into its controversial fire service reforms due on the first day back.
The committee has spent the break grilling firefighters, service executives and departments on whether the CFA should become volunteer-only, with paid firefighters to move into a newly formed Fire Rescue Victoria.
Their report is due on Tuesday and will play a pivotal role in whether the reforms, which are tied to the approval of well-supported presumptive cancer compensation rights.
In other parliamentary business, ride-sharing services like Uber will soon be legalised with amended laws returning to the lower house.
The government accepted upper house changes including halving the ride levy to $1 which will replace licence fees and help compensate taxi operators.