Member for Kiama Gareth Ward has used Heart Health Week to give notice in Parliament of the Automated External Defibrillators (Public Access) Bill which would mandate defibrillators in public buildings and all forms of public transport.

The bill will also provide for best practice regulation around a requirement to register and maintain defibrillators and to provide clear guidance on availability.  

Other countries such as Canada, the US, South Korea, and 15 European countries already have mandatory registers. 

“On average, 3,800 people in NSW die from an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year. More than 70% could have been saved if they had access to a defibrillator.  

“That figure is several times the national road toll. Put simply, this bill will save lives.

“South Australia has introduced similar measures and I couldn’t think of a better time during Heart Health Week to give notice of this bill.

“Defibrillators last about seven years, with ultraportable defibrillators lasting about one year. It is concerning that onefifth of PADs are nonfunctional when tested, potentially wasting time and worsening outcomes in timecritical cardiac arrest management. Put simply, the current lack of regulation is contributing to avoidable deaths.

Mr David Toohey, a Gerringong resident and cardiac arrest survivor supports greater access to defibrillators.

“I was very fortunate an AED was 20 meters away from me when I crashed my car, and the bloke that came to my aid happened to be a former ambulance officer. The defib kickstarted me and I continued to receive CPR for another 20 minutes till the ambulance arrived.

“We need the government to agree to provide more defibs in more accessible places. An AED saved my life, and they can save thousands more. That’s why I support Gareth’s work and his bill.

“I am one of the lucky ones but with the right laws in place, we can save more lives.

NB: This bill had already been introduced, however, the bill lapsed in accordance with Standing Orders between Parliamentary sittings. The content of the bill presented is the same as the former bill that is yet to be debated or voted on in the Legislative Assembly.