Raising the issue at the Standing Council of Police and Emergency Management (SCPEM) meeting in Melbourne, Mr Ryan said the Commonwealth – as the relevant authority – was obliged to improve telecommunications services and eradicate mobile black spots.
“Mobile telecommunications play a critical role in the provision of warnings and information during emergencies,” Mr Ryan said.
“The Victorian Coalition Government is leading the charge in the development of a national emergency warning system Emergency Alert ahead of summer with the world first technology to be available to Telstra customers from December 1.”
Mr Ryan said the Emergency Alert service would soon be able to send messages to mobile phones based on location, which would be crucial during emergencies.
Emergency Alert currently delivers voice messages to landline phones in a geographic area and SMS messages to mobile phones based on the service address information of the mobile phone subscriber.
“Emergency Alert has the potential to save many lives in the event of an emergency,” Mr Ryan said.
“Currently, because of a lack of action by the Commonwealth, the Emergency Alert system will not benefit those communities where there are mobile phone black spots.
“Victoria is undertaking comprehensive work to determine the extent of locations at risk and the needs of those communities. The onus is now on the Commonwealth to partner with Victoria to move this work forward,” Mr Ryan said.
Since it became operational Emergency Alert has issued more than 7 million messages.
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**VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT MEDIA RELEASE**