Report investigates ‘000’ delays

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The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) has outlined ways to improve the emergency call process, following a report which looked at '000' delays last December.

Daryl Williams -- Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts – issued a statement today saying the ACA had found there had been “no systematic problems underlying delays on the 000 emergency call line in December last year”.

“I asked the ACA to investigate the 000 service after reported delays in accessing the service during severe rain storms in Melbourne and a house fire in Gilmore in the ACT on 3 December 2003,” Williams said.

In its report, the ACA found the emergency call service arrangements were working well, although it did identify recommendations about how to improve the service.

“The report highlighted that a large number of calls on 3 December 2003 did not concern life-threatening nor time-critical situations and should have been made to a State Emergency Services number instead of 000,” said Williams' statement.

According to Williams, the ACA has recommended that the State Emergency Services (SES) consider establishing a national SES number.

Williams' statement on the issue also outlined two recommendations made by the ACA which had already been implemented. This included having a Telstra '000' recorded voice announcement which automatically comes on after 30 seconds, if there are delays in answering 000 calls. Callers will also be informed by a voice announcement that they have dialled 000 and their call is being connected.

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