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Steering Committee on national broadband capability for police and emergency services

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Hon. Robert McClelland MP Attorney-General

Attorney-General Media Release Page 1 of 2


Monday, 6 June 2011


Attorney-General Robert McClelland today released the terms of reference for a multi-jurisdictional Steering Committee to develop a plan to equip Australia’s public safety agencies with reliable and robust mobile broadband capability.

Mr McClelland said the Steering Committee includes senior officials from State and Territory Police Forces/Services, the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council, the Council of Ambulance Authorities, the National Counter Terrorism Committee and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

“ACMA is currently reviewing radio frequency spectrum in the 800 MHz band which presents the opportunity to build a new dedicated mobile broadband capability for emergency response organisations,” Mr McClelland said.

“Currently they access that capability through commercial carriers.

“The natural disasters Australia experienced over the past summer have demonstrated how critical it is that our emergency responders are equipped with the best technology and communication networks. The Government is determined to make this technology available to our agencies.

“The benefits for the entire Australian community of a national public safety mobile broadband capability are clear, which is why the Government has been in discussions with emergency responders about how we can address their needs as part of the shift to digital technologies.”

Mr McClelland said the Government had established the Steering Committee to ensure a national and co-operative approach to these discussions.

Under the terms of reference the Steering Committee is asked to:

 Identify the operational and technical requirements of public safety agencies for a new mobile broadband capability to support their operations  Feed into the ACMA’s current review of spectrum in the 800 MHz band, to identify a suitable quantum of spectrum suitable for an effective and efficient nation-wide public safety mobile

broadband communications capability  Develop a national implementation plan agreed to by all jurisdictions to use a possible allocation of spectrum from the 800 MHz band for an interoperable national mobile

broadband capability for public safety agencies, and  Consult with industry stakeholders on the broadband.

Mr McClelland also wrote to his State and Territory Police and Emergency Services Ministerial colleagues seeking their support for the work of the Steering Committee.

The Committee is required to report to the Standing Council for Police and Emergency Management by 29 February 2012.

Contact: Ryan Liddell 02 6277 7300 or 0427 225 763