The Queensland government has chosen Telstra to build and operate a wireless network to improve emergency response times for public safety agencies.
The project is worth $457.3 million over 15 years, with the Queensland government already allocating $56.7 million in the 2013-14 Budget.
The wireless network will be first used to help host the G20 (Group of Twenty) meetings in Brisbane which are to take place in mid-November 2014. The network will also be rolled out to the Gold Coast and Cairns for the G20 meetings, then the rest of south east Queensland for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The network will improve emergency response times by enhancing digital radio voice and narrowband data communications for police, fire and ambulance officers.
The Minister for Science, Information Technology Innovation and the Arts, Ian Walker, who will oversee the project, said the network will improve interoperability of emergency and communication systems between public safety agencies.
“Our existing analogue technology [for our radio network] is ageing, has limited capacity and can’t be used across agencies.”
Officers will be provided with GPS-enabled 'duress alarms' and 'officer down alarms' as part of the deal.
“This system should have been delivered a decade ago but the previous government was not focused on the frontline services provided by our public safety agencies,” Treasurer Tim Nicholls said in a statement.