Better protection for RFDS

PROTECTION: Staff from the Royal Flying Doctor Service Port Augusta base will be included in the bill.
PROTECTION: Staff from the Royal Flying Doctor Service Port Augusta base will be included in the bill.

Legislation to provide additional protection for the staff of the Royal Flying Doctor Service has passed the House of Assembly. 

In early November Member for Stuart  Dan van Holst Pellekaaan lead the push to amend the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Act 2007 to include the RFDS.

After an initial refusal, Mr van Holst Pellekaan has welcomed the state governments support of his “straightforward but very important Bill and related amendments to Regulations”.

“I urge the state government to amend the regulations providing these protections as soon as possible,” he said.

“RFDS put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public and we must do our job to protect them.”

Currently the act protects a range of emergency services workers including police officers, medical practitioners, ambulance officers and prison guards by requiring an offender who spits on or bites them to undertake a blood-test. 

The Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Bill will force a person to take a blood test if it is reasonably suspected they have assaulted an RFDS worker and there is a risk of the transmission of an infectious disease.

“It is critical that RFDS staff know as soon as possible if they have been infected in the course of their duties,” Mr van Holst Pellekaan said.

“This particular legislation will ease concerns of individual RFDS staff that they may have been infected in the course of their duty.”