Lack of unified emergency radio system putting lives at risk

Tasmanian Labor
  • Tasmania the only state without a contemporary radio network
  • Existing network technically obsolete, at high risk of failure
  • Liberals’ inability to deliver major projects putting Tasmanian lives at risk
  • Government inaction to prioritise development of a single, unified emergency radio communication system will put lives at risk.

    A Parliamentary Committee heard today that the Department of Police and Emergency Management has warned the government about the implications of delays in establishing the system.

    Shadow Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management Jen Butler said Tasmania is the only state without a contemporary P25 standard radio network.

    “Multiple agencies can be involved in the response to an emergency in Tasmania. Without a unified communications system, the effectiveness of the response is compromised and people’s lives can be put at risk.

    “The need for a single, unified emergency radio communication system has been clearly demonstrated, including through the tragedy of the Dunalley bushfires. The Liberals have had six years to implement the recommendations from that inquiry, but all they’ve managed to do is spend money on consultants.

    “A significant portion of the existing radio networks have been in use for more than twenty years, with multiple aspects being described as operating with a “high risk of failure”.

    “Agencies that respond to emergencies were told the network would be up and running by this year- but with contract negotiations only just underway, latest information suggests the network is at least another three years away.

    “The lack of a unified system is risking the safety and efficiency of first responders and agencies during an emergency, and putting the lives of Tasmanians at risk.

    “This is yet another demonstration of the government’s inability to deliver major projects of vital importance to Tasmanians.”

    Jen Butler

    Shadow Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

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