Australian-first Bill making life-saving defibrillators compulsory in all public buildings to come to a vote in October

25 September 2020

A Bill making defibrillators mandatory in all public buildings – including schools and universities, libraries, sporting facilities, local council offices and swimming pools – and all public transport, will come to a vote in Parliament next month. 

SA-BEST MLC and Treasury and Budget spokesperson, Frank Pangallo, said he was motivated to bring forward the vote following the tragic death of former Australian cricket legend, Dean Jones, 59, who died of a heart attack in an Indian hotel. 

“Like every other cricket lover around the world, I am deeply saddened by the sudden and untimely death of Dean Jones from heart attack,” Frank said. 

“I was in awe of Deanno's swashbuckling style and uncompromising attitude. While those around him in the hotel tried to revive Dean with CPR after he collapsed, I wonder if the hotel had an AED, and if the device could have saved his life,” he said. 

“His death makes me more determined than ever to make AEDs mandatory in South Australia by the end of the year. 

“We know the devices have the ability to save lives – what value do you put on a person’s life? 

“What value do we put on a life? Automated external defibrillators sell for about $1600 each – a small price for government and the private sector to pay to potentially save lives.” 

Under proposed Australian-first laws, privately owned buildings – including shopping centres, aged care and retirement villages, commercial properties over 600 square metres in size, and certain residential apartments – would also be required to install Automated External Defibrillators (AED). 

Frank’s Automated External Defibrillators (Public Access) Bill 2020 will also make it mandatory for the life-saving devices to be installed in all emergency services vehicles, including SAPOL, the Metropolitan Fire Service, Country Fire Service and State Emergency Service - and also all public transport. 

Frank also would like to see AEDS in taxis - a cost that could be subsidised by the passenger levy. 

A maximum fine of up to $20,000 would be imposed on those who failed to abide by the new laws, if passed by State Parliament. 

“The statistics not only speak for themselves but also paint a very disturbing, deadly picture,” he said. 

“More than 30,000 people suffer cardiac arrest in Australia each year - but only one in 10 survive according to the Council of Ambulance Authorities. 

“Worse still, the survival rate for a cardiac arrest outside of hospital is only about 10%. 

“It is an indisputable fact the availability of an AED dramatically improves a person’s chance of survival to 70%. 

“For every minute that defibrillation is delayed, the chance of survival decreases by 10 percent. 

“It has been proven around the world that AED save lives – this Bill will ensure more lives are saved as more defibrillators will be available in the community.” 

Under Frank’s proposed new laws, the Minister for Health, Stephen Wade, would be required to establish a register of where all the AEDs are located and at what times they are accessible to the public. 

A register of AED location would also need to be available when people ring 000. 

Minister Wade would also need to ensure the same information is available on a software application compatible with smartphones.

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