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Supporting our emergency service organisations

Today the Morrison Government commenced consultation on a range of updates to the Telecommunications (Low-impact Facilities) Determination 2018 and the Telecommunications Code of Practice 2018 designed to make it easier for mobile carriers to deploy temporary facilities, including temporary mobile phone towers, in the event of an emergency.

The Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the severity of the recent bushfires highlight the importance of keeping Australians connected during natural disasters.

“Reliable telecommunications services are vital for our emergency service organisations to effectively respond to a critical event or natural disaster,” Minister Fletcher said.

“With an early and intense start to the fire season this year, mobile carriers have rolled out a number of temporary facilities to provide critical communications services to our firefighters and affected communities.”

The proposed changes will provide greater certainty that mobile carriers will be able to deploy temporary towers in an emergency.

“This will ultimately mean that carriers are able to restore, and secure the delivery of essential telecommunications services quickly and efficiently in times of emergency,” Minister Fletcher said.

Exposure drafts of the proposed amendments to the Telecommunications (Low-impact Facilities) Determination 2018 and the Telecommunications Code of Practice 2018 are now available on the Department of Communications and the Arts’ website and interested parties are encouraged to have their say.

The consultation period will run until 23 December 2020 (5.00pm AEDT).

To view the package and have your say visit: https://www.communications.gov.au/have-your- say/consultation-possible-amendments-telecommunications-powers-and-immunities

Media contact:

Brad Hatch | 0448 162 679 | Brad.Hatch [at] communications.gov.au
Rebecca Papillo | 0439 892 771 | Rebecca.Papillo [at] communications.gov.au