SA govt set to pass defibrillator laws

November 29, 2022 03:35 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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Life-saving defibrillators will be mandatory in all public buildings, including schools, libraries, sporting facilities, theatres and prisons, under nation-leading legislation set to pass the South Australian parliament.

The bill was introduced by SA-BEST upper house MP Frank Pangallo, but is being supported by the state Labor government.

It also applies to larger privately owned buildings such as shopping centres, aged-care and retirement villages, and certain residential apartment buildings, along with all emergency vehicles used by the Metropolitan Fire Service, the Country Fire Service and the State Emergency Service.

Mr Pangallo said it was an indisputable fact that quick access to a defibrillator dramatically improved a person's chance of surviving a heart attack.

"For every minute that defibrillation is delayed, the chance of survival decreases by 10 per cent," he said.

"It has been proven around the world that defibrillators save lives. 

"These nation-leading laws will ensure more lives are saved, as more defibrillators will now be available throughout the community." 

Greg Page, the original Yellow Wiggle from the well-known children's entertainment group, had strongly backed the SA legislation after surviving a cardiac arrest in 2020 thanks to bystanders who knew CPR, as well as the availability of a defibrillator.

"Having these new laws passed will go a long way towards helping increase the number of survivors from sudden cardiac arrest," he said.

Health Minister Chris Picton said by supporting the legislation the government was reaffirming its commitment to ensuring better health outcomes for those in an emergency situation.

He said the defibrillators, which cost about $400 each, were incredibly user-friendly, guiding users every step of the way to help someone in a life-threatening situation.

Under the legislation, the government will have a two-year period to roll out the devices. The private sector will have three years.

The minister will also be required to keep a register on locations, with the information to be available through a smartphone app.

Any group that fails to comply with the new laws could face a maximum $20,000 fine.


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