Media Release, 10 October 2019

Telstra unveils Australia’s emergency lifeline of the future
 
10 October 2019
 
An Adelaide based contact centre employing 45 people and utilising new digital technology have been unveiled today by Telstra as part of a series of improvements to Australia’s Triple Zero service.  
 
Telstra Contact Centre Executive Claire Johnston today joined Federal Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher to open Telstra’s third Triple Zero contact centre. SA Minister for Police and Emergency Services Corey Wingard and emergency services representatives were also in attendance.    “Telstra has been operating the Triple Zero emergency call service for more than 58 years and capability, capacity and reliability are key during an emergency or a disaster,” Ms Johnston said. 
 
“A third contact centre allows us the flexibility to bring in additional resources during peak periods, such as a major incident or natural disaster, or upscale in the future to help deliver the emergency lifeline of the future for Australians.”
 
Minister Paul Fletcher said the improvements would provide Australians with a stronger lifeline in their hour of need.
 
“Triple Zero is a critical part of Government’s national emergency infrastructure and is vital to helping keep Australians safe, with more than 8.9 million emergency calls answered each year,” Minister Fletcher said.
 
“The opening of the third Triple Zero contact centre provides 45 new jobs in Adelaide, boosts calltaking capacity, and strengthens the network’s national operations.”
 
The new 20 seat, 24-hour Adelaide centre links with Telstra’s two other Triple Zero contact centres based in Victoria and NSW, all of which are designed to ensure the first available Telstra agent answers the caller as quickly as possible, irrespective of where the call originates.
 
New digital call handling technology designed for use in emergency contact centres will enable future capabilities to be developed and rolled out across all three Triple Zero centres. 
 
The Solacom Guardian platform is used worldwide and supports public safety agencies affecting millions of lives annually. Providing increased useability, flexibility and stability for operators now as well as a strong foundation for new advancements, it is new generation technology built on more than 30 years of research and innovation in emergency call handling and management solutions. 
 
“This new digital technology is an important step as industry progresses new initiatives including Advanced Mobile Location, which allows emergency services to more accurately pinpoint your location when calling for help on most mobile devices,” said Ms Johnston. 
 
“We remain on track to begin rolling out this capability in May 2020, and this is just the start.
 
“Imagine one day being able to make a video call or send a message to emergency services, which could provide them more information about your problem or a discreet way of alerting authorities if calling isn’t an option, such as in a domestic violence situation,” she said. 
 
“Our new digital platform will be able to support these enhanced features of the future as technology continues to advance.”
 
The new Triple Zero platform is being rolled out in a staged approach to ensure there is no impact to the calling public. Full rollout is expected to be completed by the end of October 2019.   
 
“We take our responsibilities as the service provider for Triple Zero extremely seriously and we continue to work with relevant authorities to further improve the service,” Ms Johnston said.
 
 
-ends-
 
 
Media contact: Chris Marks - Telstra Public Affairs (SA and NT)
M: 0475 963 824
E: chris.marks@team.telstra.com   
Reference number: 122/2019  
 
 
 
BACKGROUND INFORMATION FOR EDITORS AND JOURNALISTS
 
• For security reasons Telstra does not publicly disclose the exact locations of the Contact Centres, just the cities - Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne. While you will be able to take vision from within the Contact Centre and see the service in action, we ask you to please not film from outside the building. 
 
• Telstra operators are the first responders to all Triple Zero calls from across Australia and have done so for 58 years. Once we determine their location and type of service required, we then transfer them to the relevant emergency service in that state/territory to dispatch the required service. 
 
• The new 20 seat, 24/7 Adelaide centre links with Telstra’s two other Triple Zero contact centres. Regardless of caller location, the first available Telstra agent answers the call. 
 
• Last financial year (July 2018 – June 2019) Telstra operators answered over 8.9 million calls and connected over 6.66 million calls to emergency services. 
 
• In 2018/19 the Triple Zero service connected almost 422,000 calls to SA emergency services.
 
• Telstra has strict requirements in terms of call response times, which we meet or exceed each year. Last year 92.8% of these calls were answered by Telstra within five seconds or less, and 97.5% of calls answered within 10 seconds or less.
 
• 75.4% of all Triple Zero calls now originate from mobile phones.