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Tuesday, 08 July 2014 13:55

Turnbull announces Triple Zero review Featured

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Australians in emergency situations could soon be using Triple Zero in a whole new way, with Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull announcing a review into the system and how it could be better used to take advantage of modern mobile technologies.

Turnbull told journalists that around two-thirds of calls are now made from mobile phones, and a review could look into how the Triple Zero service could better keep in step with the community.

"Communications technology continues to advance, presenting new and exciting opportunities to improve the existing voice arrangements as well as new ways for telecommunications users to access assistance," Turnbull said.

"New services such as the Emergency + Smartphone App, which displays the phone’s GPS coordinates for the caller to read out to the emergency operator, is a great example of how modern technology can be used to improve the Triple Zero service," adding that the review will work closely with state and territory emergency services, which deal with 000 emergency calls from the national operator.

Australia's emergency phone line service can currently only be reached via a voice call.

Consumer watchdog ACCAN (Australian Communications Consumer Action Network) said the review was a positive move.

“ACCAN looks forward to participating in the Government’s triple zero consultation and intends to highlight the continuing importance of emergency services for all consumers,” said the organisation's deputy CEO Narelle Clark.

“Australians are using technology differently to when the service was first established. It’s a good time to review whether triple zero can integrate new technology effectively and ensure greater access and safety for all Australians.”

Submissions from the public are open until 22 August, with a report set for March 2015.

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