Following the recent installation of a backup NBN Sky Muster satellite service at the SES site in Minto, the community of Macarthur is now better prepared for emergencies and natural disasters.

Through its Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disasters (STAND) program, the Australian Government is protecting communities by investing in improved connectivity for emergency services depots and evacuation centres, improved telecommunications resilience under the Mobile Network Hardening Program (MNHP), and portable communications facilities across the country.

All these measures will help to save lives and reduce the impact of natural disasters on the community.

“Staying connected during a natural disaster can be the difference between life and death, whether that be receiving the latest information or contacting emergency services,” Federal Member for Macarthur Dr Mike Freelander said.

The satellite services being deployed at emergency service depots and community evacuation centres across the country will provide backup and alternative communications facilities.

These projects will help ensure emergency services supporting communities in areas such as South West Sydney can remain connected through NBN’s Sky Muster satellite service during times of disaster when land-based networks are damaged or offline.

“This project is a major boost for South West Sydney and will help ensure we minimise the risk of local communications network disruptions when natural disasters strike,” Dr Freelander said.

STAND-funded assets have proven to be effective in supporting local communities during natural disasters, including the 2022 East Coast Floods in New South Wales and Queensland, the December 2021 and January 2022 Western Australia bushfires, Cyclone Seroja, the June 2021 Victorian and Ingham, Queensland floods.

Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland said that the project in Minto is one of 1035 delivered so far under the program, with the remaining projects to

be completed by November 2022.

“While no network can ever be 100 per cent disaster-proof, these investments will go a long way towards ensuring local residents can stay connected in the most difficult times, especially to access potentially lifesaving information and advice,” Ms Rowland said.

The Australian Government is also encouraging people to be prepared for natural disasters through a public communications program, including by having a portable radio in emergency kits and notifying family members of travel plans.

CLICK HERE for more information on the STAND program.