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Public Administration News  
Australia Govt Enables Location-based Emergency SMS Alerts
Source: www.futuregov.asia
Source Date: Friday, November 16, 2012
Focus: Knowledge Management in Government
Country: Australia
Created: Nov 19, 2012

The Australian government is implementing a location-based emergency SMS alert system in preparation for the bushfire season. The system will enable emergency services to send alerts and warnings via SMS to mobile phones based on the where the phone is, in addition to its registered address.

This world-first technology is an enhancement to the existing Emergency Alert system instituted in 2009, which sends alerts to mobile phones or landlines based only on the registered address of the phone. The upgrade allowing location-based alerts was led by the state of Victoria, where trials have already been carried out in 13 locations and are scheduled for four more locations this month.

“Getting emergency warnings out effectively during a disaster is absolutely critical,” said Nicola Roxon, Minister for Emergency Management and the Attorney-General of Australia. “After all, mobile phones are mobile. This update will help emergency services to get warnings to the right people at the right time in the right place.”

The government has spent over AU$60 million (US$62 million) to establish and upgrade Emergency Alert. Customers of the service provider Telstra will have access to the system in December, while Vodafone and Optus customers will be incorporated next year.

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