02/11/2017 9:45 PM AEDT | Updated 02/11/2017 9:45 PM AEDT

9 Years Ago She Voted Against Euthanasia. Then Her Own Daughter Died.

Jaala Pulford has "learnt more about death and dying than I ever cared to".

Michael Dodge via Getty Images
Labor MP Jaala Pulford is hugged by Gavin Jennings MP while crying after speaking about the loss of her daughter.

Jaala Pulford voted against a euthanasia bill nine years ago, but this time it's different because Victoria's agriculture minister has "learnt more about death and dying than I ever cared to".

Ms Pulford delivered an emotional speech in favour of the government's assisted dying bill in the upper house on Thursday, recounting the final weeks of her 13-year-old daughter Sinead's swift battle with cancer.

"Sinead's death was a good death, for the horror that it was," Ms Pulford said.

"And when Sinead died, she was holding my hand, I was able to tell her how brave she had been, how loved she was and how it was okay for her to go now."

Not only does this bill have more safeguards than the 2008 proposal, but her daughter's death has taught her more about death and "rejecting this bill will not save a single life" because it is only for the terminally ill.

Michael Dodge via Getty Images
Jaala Pulford speaks about the loss of her daughter on November 2, 2017 in Melbourne.

An equally impassioned contribution against the proposed laws subsequently came from Liberal MP Bernie Finn, who argued the legislation does not address the dearth of palliative care in regional Victoria.

"If suicide is all we offer people, that's all they will take," Mr Finn said.

"And in most parts of country Victoria, that's all we'll be offering and that's all they will take."

The bill does not stop coercion on the elderly and disabled, does not account for doctor error and would encourage euthanasia advocates like Philip Nitschke to set up a "one stop death shop", Mr Finn said.

The major parties have allowed a conscience vote on the controversial bill which needs 21 supporters to get through the 40-member upper house.


Shooters, Fishers and Farmers' MPs, Daniel Young and Jeff Bourman, have declared their unwavering opposition.

"If we are to go ahead with (it) we have to get it absolutely right the first time, and I don't believe we're in that spot," Mr Young told reporters outside parliament.

Liberal MP Simon Ramsay said he was not prepared to vote for the bill in its current form.

Fellow Liberal Margaret Fitzherbert, who sat on the parliamentary committee that examined a scheme, says she will vote no.

Key crossbencher James Purcell supports the idea but wants amendments.

Former Northern Territory chief minister Marshall Perron watched from the public gallery on Thursday.

In 1995, his government successfully passed Australia's first euthanasia laws which were overruled by the Commonwealth two years later.

Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy conceded the upper house vote was tight.

"Ultimately this is a bill that requires 21 votes and we're going to continue to have discussions with people in order to try and see if we can get to that magic number," she told reporters.

Debate in the Legislative Council is expected to continue on Friday.