Emergency services audit report released

THE Tasmanian Audit Office has found little progress on the government radio communications project.

Auditor-General Mike Blake today released a report about the project.

His report found that some emergency services cannot communicate easily by radio with each other and that a government project team set up to establish a single government radio network had made little progress.

Mr Blake found that because Tasmania Police use 800 MHz radios, they are unable to directly communicate with other emergency services such as the Tasmania Fire Service.

As an interim measure, Tasmania Police has purchased a number of 70 MHz radios to partially overcome communication difficulties.

Despite the then premier writing to all relevant government heads in 2012 emphasising the importance of establishing a single network, little headway towards this goal has been achieved in eight years.

The Auditor-General questioned whether the project was addressing the right objectives because a process that largely ignores entities' concerns has little chance of attracting support.

In other findings, the Auditor-General stated the existing radio networks provided limited security and confidentiality for emergency services users.

He also found that there was unnecessary duplication and uncertainty about the true cost of maintaining the networks.

The report makes 11 recommendations aimed at improving the provision of radio communications.

It calls on those responsible for establishing a single network to get the project back on track while at the same time ensuring everyone's requirements are considered.

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