Telstra has been awarded the contract to build a national telephony-based emergency warning system in the event of a life-threatening natural disaster.
Victoria’s Police and Emergency Services Minister, Bob Cameron, said that Telstra will build and deliver a fixed and mobile phone National Emergency Warning System (NEWS) by the end of October and testing will commence in November.
“Experts predict this fire season could be potentially worse than the season we’ve just experienced and Victoria led the delivery of the new national based system because we wanted a system in place for this fire season that could alert communities in the event of a life-threatening emergency,” Cameron said.
The new system is one outcome of many recommendations from the Royal Commission into February’s deadly Victorian bushfires, which called for an overhaul of bushfire warning systems.
The Federal Government has set aside $15 million to build and and implement the system.
Cameron said the system will alert communities to emergencies via a recorded voice message on landline telephones and a text message on mobiles, based on the subscribers’ billing address.
A tender is currently out for the provision of developing the capability to deliver text messages based on the physical location of a mobile phone during an emergency.