Shayne Higson to run in Wentworth
The Voluntary Euthanasia Party (VEP) will be contesting the vacant seat of Wentworth in the upcoming by-election. It will send a strong message to both major parties on an issue that is supported by 85% of Australians. That message is to remove the increasing interference of the religious right in Australian politics and to pass assisted dying legislation.
Shayne Higson is an experienced candidate having run as the lead candidate for the VEP in three elections over the past five years but she also has strong ties to Wentworth. Shayne was born, raised and educated in the electorate and throughout her life has lived in Bellevue Hill, Paddington and now Queens Park.
Shayne, who has been campaigning for assisted dying law reform for five years, following the death of her mother from brain cancer in 2012, said she felt motivated to stand in this by-election for a number of reasons.
“Like many Australians, I was disgusted by what happened to Malcolm Turnbull but I am also disturbed, and angry, at the revelations that Liberal MPs, and specifically female Liberals, were intimidated and bullied during the recent upheaval,” she said.
“This is not the first time the Liberal Party has put pressure on its female members. Dying with Dignity advocates heard similar accusations during the Victorian and NSW debates on voluntary assisted dying legislation,” said Shayne. “The Liberals threatened to withdraw pre-selection from their own MP’s if they voted in support of voluntary assisted dying, even though the party had declared it a conscience vote.”
“Australians have had enough of the party machines and career politicians. I believe Wentworth is ready for an independent voice in the Parliament.”
Shayne believes constituents want a representative who will support local issues but also someone who will demonstrate commonsense, compassion and integrity when it comes to important issues that affect the broader community and the country as a whole. She also understands that constituents want stability, so if she wins the seat of Wentworth, she promises to support the Government on confidence and supply until the next federal election.
Shayne Higson has been campaigning for voluntary assisted dying legislation full-time for the past five years. She was the lead NSW Senate candidate in the VEP's first federal election back in 2013. She was the driving force behind the registration of the first state branch of the Voluntary Euthanasia Party in early 2014 and then ran as the lead upper house candidate in the 2015 NSW State Election. In 2016 she once again ran as the lead NSW Senate candidate in 2016. Shayne is currently the VEP's NSW State Convenor and the deputy federal convenor.
Shayne has also campaigned for assisted dying in her roles as spokesperson for Andrew Denton’s organisation, Go Gentle Australia from 2016 to 2017, and as the current Vice President of Dying with Dignity NSW.
In addition to her advocacy for assisted dying, Shayne was also involved in the grassroots campaign to save The Four In Hand Hotel in Paddington and rallied in support of the Safe Access Zone Bill earlier this year.
Shayne is keen to run in the Wentworth by-election to highlight the growing disconnect between our current politicians and the Australian community. “Voluntary assisted dying is one of those issues like marriage equality, medicinal cannabis and legal abortion,” she said. “People can cast a vote in favour of a progressive attitude to all these social issues and a vote of no confidence in the politicians who keep blocking assisted dying legislation, by voting for the Voluntary Euthanasia Party in Wentworth.”
“I am becoming increasingly angry about the theocracy in our democracy. The religious right are placing undue pressure on politicians from both the major parties and it needs to stop.”