Ministers for the Department of Communications and the Arts

Joint Release with the Hon Michael Keenan MP: Productivity Commission to make recommendations on mobile broadband for emergency response agencies

21 November 2014

The Productivity Commission will undertake a cost-benefit analysis of the best way to deliver a mobile broadband capability for public safety agencies.

The Government will ask the Productivity Commission to undertake a 'first principles' analysis of the most efficient and effective way of delivering this capability by 2020, including the most cost‑effective combination of private and public inputs, services and expertise.

The Commonwealth, State and Territory governments all recognise the potential benefits of an effective national public safety mobile broadband (PSMB) capability for agencies such as police, fire and ambulance services.

A mobile broadband capability for public safety agencies would allow for an improved response to emergency events and enable better communication within and between jurisdictions.

The Government expects the cost-benefit analysis will draw on the extensive work undertaken to date by the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments through the Council of Australian Governments, and will include close consultation with industry.

We will shortly write to our State and Territory counterparts seeking their comments on the draft Terms of Reference for the Productivity Commission's cost-benefit analysis.

The Productivity Commission will consult broadly with government and non-government stakeholders following the Commission's receipt of the Terms of Reference.

Media Contacts:

Minister Turnbull – David Bold – 0427 784 451
Minister Keenan – Emily Broadbent – 0400 390 008

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