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2016-10-06

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Triple zero tender raises serious questions about reliability and community health and safety

The Communications Union today expressed concern about the ongoing reliability of the critical Triple Zero emergency service amidst reports the Federal Government would tender for its operation.

National President Shane Murphy said the tender signalled more cost cutting in the crucial fields of telecommunications and health services.

“We’re calling on the Government to explain more clearly what it wants here. Will a tender for a lower cost service be considered? Is this simply about finding cost savings at the expense of a skilled and qualified workforce providing an efficient essential service?

“Or if, as reported today, this is actually about having Telstra, the historical provider, prove it can modernise the platform, then why would any other credible provider waste its time tendering?

“This is too important a service for there to be a lack of clarity or unanswered questions with regard to the process and policy intentions.

“We simply can’t afford to risk undermining the reliability of the Triple Zero phone service which fields more than 8 million emergency calls per year and up to 30,000 calls per day.

Mr Murphy said the Liberals had a firm ideological view on privatisation and cost-cutting - and community health and safety was not immune.

“They’re obsessed with it - selling off Medibank, privatising key Medicare functions and allowing our public hospitals to deteriorate to shocking levels with private-public partnerships hailed as their saving grace.

“If that is what this tender process is about, the Government should be ashamed of itself. If there is another agenda, they need to explain that clearly,” said Mr Murphy.

Media contact: Tim O’Halloran, 0409 059 617

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