Emergency Management Operational Communications Program


Operational communications provides the underpinning capability to allow agencies to operate and interoperate. Network investments are typically large, and the lead times to build new infrastructure are long. These investments are a prerequisite to many smaller technology efficiency projects, so must be undertaken first.

As technology improves, community expectations change, and demand for emergency services increases, the communications infrastructure for the emergency services sector must evolve to address these changing requirements. The Emergency Management Operational Communications Program sets out a plan to transform the sector’s operational communications to meet these future demands.

Find out more about the Emergency Management Operational Communications Program including the latest program updates. 

Who are we?

The Operational Communications Program sits within the Emergency Management Technology portfolio of Emergency Management Victoria. With the Operational Communications Program endorsed by the government, there is a detailed program of works which will define a sequence of individual projects, and develop associated business cases to realise the vision of the Operational Communications Program.

What are the emergency services networks?

Today, there are four state contracts which provide emergency services communications networks covering:

  • Digital voice radio services state-wide, used by seven agencies
  • Data services in metropolitan Melbourne, used by one agency
  • Paging services state-wide, used by three agencies
  • Analogue voice radio services state-wide, used by two  agencies

These shared networks are in addition to various agency-specific networks.

In the future, we envisage a single, joined-up network serving seven agencies across Victoria will be provided.

Why is the Operational Communications Program different?

All Victorian emergency service agencies were involved in the development of this multi-year plan, through an extensive consultation process. Every agency has agreed to the plan, which is also endorsed by Government.

What do we want to achieve?

The four key actions from the Operational Communications Program are to:

  • Leverage new State contracts to move to a single, integrated data and voice network
  • Establish a state-wide, sector-wide broadband capability
  • Adopt a phased implementation plan, and
  • Deliver the plan through EMV’s centralised governance

The plan intends to utilise our existing investment in communications to ensure value for money in addressing the sector’s future requirements. It also aims to ensure that, in line with Government policy, a competitive market is fostered and encouraged. There are a number of ways we plan to achieve this, including the separation of network from terminals and applications, to enable individual components to be tendered separately.


To deliver on the program objectives in a fair way for all industry participants, Government is committed to ensuring that probity is adhered to by government and industry participants.  For government participants this includes restrictions on contact with industry participants

  • Industry participants will agree not to invite government participants to any hospitality or events that relate to future or current contracts
  • Industry participants must not engage in any collusive or anti competitive conduct
  • Industry participants must not seek non-public information from government participants
  • Industry participants must abide to probity protocols
  • Breach of protocols may have consequences including disqualification from participation

Operational Communications Program-Probity-Framework (PDF 735 KB)