House debates

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Questions without Notice

Men's Sheds

2:28 pm

Photo of Rebekha SharkieRebekha Sharkie (Mayo, Centre Alliance) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Health. In April this year the government announced funding to equip every Men's Shed with a portable defibrillator. There are over 900 Men's Sheds in Australia, and more than a dozen are in my electorate, including the Yankalilla Men's Shed, who are anxiously awaiting the rollout. Minister, could you please provide the House an accurate time line of when the government will make good on the promise to ensure every Men's Shed has this vital piece of life-saving equipment installed?

2:29 pm

Photo of Greg HuntGreg Hunt (Flinders, Liberal Party, Minister for Health) Share this | | Hansard source

I want to thank the member for Mayo. All members of this House will be acquainted with the work of Men's Sheds around the country. They serve many purposes: (1) they serve a community benefit in terms of supporting those who are less advantaged; (2) they provide a source of comfort and activity, where many of the men who come along might otherwise be isolated; and (3) they serve a very important purpose in terms of mental health and isolation in providing that support for each other—mates supporting mates in a very positive Australian way, which has gone around the world.

I want to acknowledge a previous prime minister, former Prime Minister Gillard, who was a strong supporter, as is the current Prime Minister and as are people on all sides of this House. We recently announced $11 million for the Men's Shed program. That includes an expansion of men's sheds, additional support for existing men's sheds and $2 million for the Men's Shed defibrillator program. My department is currently carrying out a survey of needs around the country. We expect that to be completed over the course of the coming months. My request to them is to have these defibrillators rolling out early in the new year—and it is my confident prediction to the House that they will. I would like to pass on my thanks to those in the Yankalilla Men's Shed. I know Yankalilla, and it's a fine town. Please pass on our thanks to them, and indicate that we are looking to make sure every men's shed in the country is equipped with a defibrillator.