Regional Emergency Services Switch On To Digital Radio

30 August 2017

Police and emergency services in regional Victoria will have access to the state’s digital radio network from 2018, eliminating key black spots and increasing security and audio clarity.

Victoria Police, Victoria State Emergency Service, Life Saving Victoria, Corrections Victoria and Country Fire Authority (CFA) brigades operating in outer metropolitan areas will transition from outdated analogue systems to Victoria’s regional digital radio network during 2018.

The Andrews Labor Government has awarded Telstra an amendment to the 2013 regional digital radio network agreement, which will enable the four additional agencies to access the system.

CFA regional brigades have used the network since 2014 and the amendment ensures that arrangement can continue, while expanding its reach to CFA brigades in outer metropolitan districts including Dandenong, Melton, Geelong and Lilydale.

This new digital radios for Victoria Police, are being acquired and progressively rolled out across the state. Once the roll out of devices is completed, the network will be encrypted and police radios in rural areas will be as secure as those in metropolitan areas.

This investment in new technology, and an encrypted network, will mean that communication between police can no longer be heard by criminals or members of the public.

The regional digital radio network offers increased security for voice communications, greater network coverage and capacity, and improved voice clarity. The move to the digital system also ensures Victoria State Emergency Service, Life Saving Victoria and Corrections Victoria comply with Commonwealth spectrum regulatory changes.

The Labor Government invested $11.5 million in the Victorian Budget 2015/16 for police to upgrade to the new digital system.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino

“We are giving our police and emergency services the modern equipment they need to help keep Victorians safe.”

“The safety of our emergency services personnel is paramount and this new system will eliminate key black spots, provide a secure network and make it easier for them to do their vital work across regional Victoria.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville

“This new technology will encrypt police radios, ensuring that no one outside the police force, including criminals, can listen to police communications.”

“We’re replacing outdated and unsafe police and emergency services radios to ensure authorities have the best equipment to help fight crime and respond to emergencies.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney

“Our hardworking prison officers should have access to the best technology available to keep our prisons safe and secure – this upgrade will make sure that happens.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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