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Vic death bill changes in push for votes

Attorney-General Martin Pakula hopes changes to Victorian assisted dying laws mean they'll pass.
Attorney-General Martin Pakula hopes changes to Victorian assisted dying laws mean they’ll pass.

The Victorian government will be hoping the changes it’s made to proposed assisted dying laws will get enough votes to pass parliament.

On the afternoon the bill was set to be examined line-by-line in the upper house, the Andrews government revealed five pages of amendments and a $62 million palliative care package.

Changes include slashing the required life expectancy for terminally ill patients to access the scheme from 12 months to six, and a requirement people reside in the state for at least a year before applying.

“It has become apparent to us over the last couple of weeks that passage through the (Legislative) Council will be more difficult,” Attorney-General Martin Pakula told reporters on Tuesday.

“These amendments give the bill the best chance of passing through.”

After outcry that the original scheme did not include extra palliative care funding, the government also announced the $62 million package on Tuesday.

The money will be spread over five years, with $19 million allocated for 2017-18, and a particular focus on services for regional and rural Victoria.

There will also be a review of how palliative care funding is distributed.

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