Emergency Public Address System To Keep Victorians Safe

The first demonstration of Melbourne’s new emergency warning speaker system occurred today to give the public an understanding of the alert sound.

Minister for Police Lisa Neville joined Victoria Police Acting Chief Commissioner Shane Patton and Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley to demonstrate the new Public Address System.

The demonstration at the State Library of Victoria included a broadcast of the Standard Emergency Warning Signal and a test message.

As part of the demonstration, the following message was broadcast: ‘This is a test of the CBD warning system. The next sound you will hear will be the Standard Emergency Warning Signal.’

The signal then sounded followed by: ‘Repeat this is a test only of the CBD emergency warning system, thank you for your attention.’

The speakers are a key part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $10 million CBD security upgrade in response to January’s Bourke Street incident.

The State Library is one of 65 locations in the CBD to have speakers already installed, with the full rollout at 95 locations to be completed by the end of next year across locations like Federation Square and the Town Hall.

During an emergency police can activate the Public Address System to alert the public and provide important safety information.

The messages may require people to move to a particular area, leave a particular area, or move to or stay inside the nearest building.

The speakers will add to the existing measures in place to warn the community and respond to incidents, including location-based SMS alerts, emergency broadcasts, and on-the-ground advice from police and emergency service personnel.

Permanent bollards and street furniture have already been installed in the Bourke Street Mall, with planning and design well underway for permanent off-street security upgrades at eight other locations.

There was a strong Police presence in the CBD while the demonstration occurred to provide assurances to pedestrians and answer questions about the system.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville

“The Public Address System is another measure we’ve put in place to help protect Victorians and visitors to Melbourne in case of an emergency situation.” 

“While we hope they’re never needed – we’re going to continue to invest in increasing security across the city and these speakers can and will be used to provide increased security and assurances to Victorians.”