An Australian First Law has been introduced in South Australia, making it mandatory for AEDs to be publicly accessible in a range of public and private buildings.
Lifesaving AEDs are now mandatory in all public buildings in South Australia, including schools, universities, libraries, sporting facilities, prisons, local council offices, theatres, and swimming pools. AEDs must also be publicly accessible in privately owned buildings including shopping centres, aged care and retirement villages, commercial properties over 600 square metres, and certain residential apartments.
The Bill which was first introduced by Frank Pangallo to Parliament in 2019 and then later in 2022, was passed yesterday, making a dramatic improvement in the livelihood and safety of South Australians. The Bill also makes it mandatory for AEDs to be publicly accessible in all emergency service vehicles including SAPOL, the Metropolitan Fire Service, Country Fire Service and State Emergency Service.
Over 30,000 people suffer cardiac arrest in Australia each year, but only one in 10 survive.
The introduction of this law is a dramatic step forward in decreasing the death toll that Sudden Cardiac Arrest has on Australians. The introduction of this law follows the lead of the Victorian Government which in recent years has rolled out more than 1500 new defibrillators to community organisations. It is believed that at least 2 lives per week are saved by the use of AEDs in public locations. Other countries such as Singapore lead the charge in the public roll out of AEDs, where they are mandatory in all taxis. Frank Pangallo says “The statistics not only speak for themselves but also paint a very disturbing, very deadly picture.” A maximum fine of up to $20,000 will be imposed on those who fail to abide by the new legislation.
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Under the new laws, Chris Picton, the Minister for Health, will be required to establish a register of where all the AEDs are located in South Australia and what times they are accessible to the public. This same information will also be made available via a mobile app.