Millions spent on outside help but radio network years away
NEARLY $5 million has been spent on consultants to bring in a statewide radio system — which is still undelivered after the 2013 bushfires.
THE State Government has spent more than $5 million on consultants over the past two years in an effort to give the state’s emergency services a single radio network.
An integrated network was promised in 2008, with urgency around the project growing following the 2013 Dunalley bushfires.
Reports on the bushfires found Tasmania police and firefighters were unable to communicate during the emergency because radio systems were incompatible.
The new network will cover the emergency services, as well as Sustainable Timber Tasmania, the Parks and Wildlife Service, TasNetworks and Hydro Tasmania. It was initially hoped the multi-agency network would be up and running by 2020. The start date is now some time in 2021.
Over the past two financial years six consultants have won tenders to help get the project over the line, at a total cost of more than $5 million.
Consultancies included $2.627 million to Mingara Australia for technical services, $1.497 to Deloitte for commercial services and $755,000 has been spent on lawyers.
Tasmania Police Deputy Commissioner Scott Tilyard said the project represented a significant undertaking for the state with the consolidation of eight user organisations to a single network.
“The steering committee which incorporates representatives from all organisations and central government has endorsed three key consultancies being engaged to ensure that in line with parliamentary recommendations the outcome of the TasGRN is a network which meets the business requirements of all user organisations,” Deputy Commissioner Tilyard said.
He said the network build was due to start in 2020 with users to begin moving across to the network in 2021.
Opposition spokesman for Police, Fire and Emergency Management Jen Butler said the State Government had been slow to progress the radio network.
“This is just another example of the Hodgman minority government spending millions of dollars on consultants with no real result.”