21 Mar 2024 health parliament

Member for Kiama Gareth Ward has today introduced the Automated External Defibrillators (Public Access) Bill 2024 which would require the installation and registration of automated external defibrillators in public buildings and on all modes of public transport.

Mr Ward says his bill will save lives.

“This bill isn’t about ideology. It’s about lifesaving outcomes”, Mr Ward told the House.

“The NSW Road Toll is lower than the number of people who die from a preventable cardiac arrest.

“Each year, approximately 3800 people in New South Wales experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, and sadly around 90% are unable to be revived. Studies have shown that the combination of CPR and defibrillation can increase survival rates by up to 70%.

“My bill will mandate defibrillator roll-out to public buildings and on public transport, improve reliability and accessibility of the defibrillator register and promote education and awareness

“What good is a defibrillator if it is locked away in a canteen or behind a roller door, or the battery is dead because a machine hasn’t been maintained?  Other jurisdictions have found an answer to these very important problems with quite simple solutions.

“Other countries such as Canada, the US, South Korea, and 15 European countries already have mandatory defib registers. In fact, my bill mirrors legislation passed by the South Australian Parliament which was introduced by a private member.

“NSW should do the same.

The bill will be debated in the lower house when Parliament resumes in May.

Footage of the second reading speech can be found here.