Federal Member For Banks
Shadow Minister for Communications

Shadow Minister for Communications – Media Release – Optus report must examine Minister’s lack of transparency in 000 crisis

We expect the report into the Optus network outage on November 8 to fully investigate the Communications Minister’s lack of transparency in her handling of the Triple-0 failings on that day.

FOI documents revealed that as the crisis was unfolding, the Minister was specifically warned by Telstra that calls were not getting through to the emergency Triple-0 service.

Despite being directly warned that some 000 calls were not getting through, meeting notes show that Minister Rowland stated that:

“(I) want to be able to say that mobiles will still connect.”

That revelation is extremely important, especially after we recently learnt that nearly 2700 customers were unable to connect to the emergency number. This was more than ten times the original number disclosed.

This lack of transparency by the Minister must be covered in the Optus review, which we hear is now sitting on the Minister’s desk.

This report cannot be hidden from the public in the same way the Minister failed to disclose news about the 000 calls not getting through from the public.

The report cannot gather dust. It cannot be swept under the carpet. It’s been nearly five months since the massive outage that impacted ten million Australians.

There is urgency here. The Senate Committee investigating the Optus crisis clearly needs access to this report before it can finalise its inquiry into this affair.

The inquiry terms of reference include examination of actions taken by the Government. This is crucial, given the Government is responsible for ensuring we have a properly functioning Triple-O service.

Australians need to know the truth about the Optus crisis and what role the Government and the Minister played in this crisis.

The Hon. David Coleman MP
Federal Member for Banks
Shadow Minister for Communications