From 1 July 2006, an enhanced National Emergency Call Centre (NECC) capability will be developed to assist in the event of an on-shore or off-shore emergency of national significance. The NECC, via a toll free number, will have the capacity to handle up to 5,000 calls from the public in the first hour after activation, then up to 50,000 calls per hour. This new service is being introduced to enhance the Australian Government's ability to respond rapidly and process large volumes of information and calls from the public following a significant disaster.
The NECC is established under the umbrella of the National Emergency Protocol, which provides for a consistent and coordinated response by all levels of Government at the onset of an on-shore or off-shore emergency of national significance.
The NECC is a whole-of-government initiative that will provide an immediate single first point of contact for enquiries from the public, an avenue for the provision of consistent messages to the public and collection of information from the public. It will allow for the rapid exchange of information between relevant authorities following a disaster of significance. The Centre would be activated when there is a major on-shore or off-shore emergency or disaster.
The NECC comprises a dedicated toll free number with around the clock staffing capability. Up to 7,000 call centre staff from across five Australian Government agencies, using 50 different call centre sites, will be in operation. A system of secure linked databases will be implemented for collecting important information from the public relating to injured, missing or deceased persons, or matters of national security, following a disaster or emergency.
The NECC does not replace existing emergency assistance numbers such as the 000 accident and emergency number or the National Security Hotline.
This is a cross-portfolio measure and includes the Attorney General's Department, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Health and Ageing, the Department of Defence, the Child Support Agency, Australian Taxation Office, Medicare Australia and Centrelink.
1 July 2006
Total Financial Impact on FaCSIA
$10.7 million over four years.