Residents warned not to rely on the NBN working during a bushfire emergency

Photo: The Department of Fire and Emergency Services
Photo: The Department of Fire and Emergency Services

THE Federal Government will consider rolling out warning sirens in the Hills to reach residents during bushfire emergencies.

The news comes on the back of a warning to residents living in bush fire prone areas that they cannot rely on the NBN working during an emergency.

Advice from NBN Co is that consumers should not assume that services will work in a power outage, and should consider maintaining an alternative communications technology such as a charged mobile phone.

Federal Member for Hasluck, Ken Wyatt, said more than 20,000 new homes in Perth are expected to be connected to the NBN by August.

“By the end of April, key service areas in Kenwick, Forrestfield and Maddington will be rolled out and ready for service,” he said.

“By July, further service areas in Glen Forrest, Hovea, Mahogany Creek, Mundaring, Parkerville, Sawyers Valley, Jane Brook and Swan View will be rolled out.

“By August, this roll out will include service areas in Chidlow, Hovea, Mount Helena, Mundaing, Parkerville, Stoneville, further areas in Kenwick and Maddington, Orange Grove, Wattle Grove, Jane Brook, Middle Swan and Stratton.”

“A total of 21,500 premises will be included in this roll out up to August.”

Mr Wyatt said while the NBN has brought greater safety and security to residents, particularly in the Hills, more needs to be done.

“The Federal Government understands the importance of telecommunications services during an emergency,” he said.

“However, no communications technology is completely resilient to power outages and it is important for consumers to know the risks so that they can plan for disasters accordingly.

“Over the summer period I met with volunteer bush fire brigades who are on the front line in responding to emergency situations, and they continue to make the case that more options and reliable communications are a community safety issue.

“In the coming weeks I will be discussing the use of warning sirens in the hills to ensure that we do everything we possibly can to reach out to residents in emergencies.”