Page 522 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

(d) currently there is no legislative requirement for defibrillators in ACT government schools or workplaces;

(e) St John Ambulance, Australian Red Cross and the Heart Foundation support the provision of defibrillators in all government schools and workplaces;

(f) as of October 2020, 38 of the 89 ACT government schools have a defibrillator on site;

(g) ACT government schools assess their risk profile in accordance with the First Aid Code of Practice and through consultation processes established per the Work Health and Safety Act 2011;

(h) all light rail vehicles have a defibrillator on board;

(i) Transport Canberra has a fleet of five Field Response Vans that are based at each interchange across Canberra, which are able to be deployed to respond rapidly to any emerging issues on bus services anywhere in the city;

(j) each Field Response Van is fitted with defibrillator equipment and all Transport Canberra Transport Officers staffing these vans hold first aid certificates; and

(k) all Transport Canberra buses have radio communication to the Transport Canberra Control Room which enables a rapid response of emergency services and the incident response vehicles as required; and

(2) calls on the ACT Government to:

(a) continue to support government schools and agencies to increase the availability of defibrillators in their facilities; and

(b) consider ways to increase public awareness of the use of (and access to) defibrillators to save lives, in consultation with St John Ambulance and the Heart Foundation.”.

I thank Ms Castley for moving this motion. I note that it is unclear whether this responsibility sits within the health portfolio; to be clear, I am making a whole-of-government response here, and I thank my colleagues and their directorates for the input they have provided both to the amendment and to the information that I will use today.

Of course, this is an important motion. Again, I thank Ms Castley for providing the opportunity to discuss the role that automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, can play in our workplaces and communities. The government certainly supports the intent of Ms Castley’s motion, and our amendment seeks to clarify the work already underway to support the accessibility of AEDs in government-managed facilities, including schools and on public transport.

The government, however, is not supportive of the legislation mandate for AEDs in all government facilities. It is really not clear that legislation is an appropriate mechanism to achieve the intent of Ms Castley’s motion, which, again, we support. The rationale for this goes to the evidence that has been developed over a number of years. In 2005 the Australian government engaged St John Ambulance Australia to design and implement a public access defibrillation demonstration project. Through

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video