May 2, 2023 | Media Releases, Media Releases 2023

The Opposition welcomes today’s announcement that a new cell broadcast National Messaging System will be rolled out across the country, with funding to be delivered in the upcoming Budget.

This is not a Labor Government initiative – it was originally announced by the Liberals and Nationals in Government in the March 2022 Budget.

Shadow Communications Minister David Coleman welcomed the fact that the Government was continuing the Coalition’s work on the National Messaging System.

“This is an important project designed to increase public safety and help the work of our emergency services,” Mr Coleman said.

“Last year we announced that the plan would provide the Commonwealth with the ability to more rapidly inform the public of emergency and disaster events, such as flash flooding, storm damage, fires and terrorist threats.

“The new system would deliver warning messages to phones, locally, regionally and nationally, in near real time, helping emergency services in responding faster to such events.

“Our Budget provided funding to allow the tender for the project to commence and we are glad that this important work is ongoing.”

Shadow Minister for Emergency Management, Senator Perin Davey, said the new system should improve or enhance current state systems that communities have come to rely on but they don’t talk across state borders which is problematic,” Senator Davey said.

“The bigger concern in today’s announcement, however, is the further delay of the Public Safety Mobile Broadband (PSMB) capability.”

Both key recommendations of the Black Summer Bushfire Royal Commission, Senator Davey said there is not much point of the best technology emergency messaging if the messages can’t get through because the mobile broadband network was down.

“I have repeatedly raised questions through Senate Estimates about the progress of the PMBS only to be told it was not yet decided whether the results of the concept trial would be made public and what the next steps for the PSMB might be,” Senator Davey said.

“To see today funding for another taskforce just seems to be kicking the can further down the road on a project that we had already done a lot of work towards.

The Shadow Ministers acknowledged the Black Summer Royal Commission set up by the Liberals and Nationals in Government and said it was good to see the Government taking steps to implement recommendations that had bipartisan support.