The aftermath of the Victorian bushfires. Image: Getty Images.
By Rob O’Brien
In its submission to the Commission the Australian Early Warning Network (EWN) said the failure to implement a national early warning system before and since the deadly fires was now a ‘national embarrassment’.
EWN managing director of Kerry Plowright said that the state government missed several opportunities to install free early warning alerts but favoured a system that incorporated landlines.
"Both were arguably superior to Telstra’s at the time, and they were free, immediately available and even as an interim measure could have been used by authorities on that day with the potential to save lives.
EWN provides free emergency alerts through mobile phones, home phones, pagers, automated phone calls, email and SMS. The system is a multi-channel alert system which comes at no cost for emergency services or to members of the public.
“Having something in place is better than having nothing in place. What happened on Black Saturday could have been mitigated substantially by any number of systems being in place.”
Comment below to have your say on this story.
If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at email@example.com.
Sign up to the Government News newsletter