Life Saving Victoria (LSV) owns and operates a state lifesaving communications network,currently made up of a number of repeaters across Victoria. This network allows for operational lifesaving communications between LSV Clubs and Services and the Life Saving Victoria Communications Centre
Mobile radio communications will remain as a critical operational tool for the foreseeable future, therefore action is being taken to replace some existing systems to achieve ‘ACMA Compliance’. The Victorian State Government approved a budget allocation for the ‘ACMA Compliance Project’ (now known as the “LSV Digital Radio Upgrade Project”) on behalf of Life Saving Victoria (LSV), Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES), Corrections Victoria (CV) and Victoria Police (VicPol).
Specific radio frequency ‘bands’ are allocated for certain types of radio communication services. These bands are a public resource, and they are administered in Australia by the Australian Communication & Media Authority (ACMA). The 400 MegaHertz (MHz) band is one of the most highest in demand as it is used by both commercial users and Governments for their field based radio communications systems. In 2010 the ACMA released a paper that outlined the future use of the 400 MegaHertz (MHz) band, following an extensive public consultation process.
One of the key outcomes from this review was to provide better certainty of access to the band, particularly for critical users such as Police and Emergency Services where improving communication ‘inter-operability’ is
essential for more effective service delivery. Transitioning to these new arrangements may not be readily achievable due to the limitations or age of the radio technologies currently in use by some user organisations, necessitating either equipment replacement or use of alternate communications services. LSV along with the other agencies must take steps to comply with the new 400MHz band arrangements and the Victorian Government, through Emergency Management Victoria (EMV), established additional objectives to also improve the coverage, security and inter-operability of communications through this new upgrade.
These objectives are in concert with the Long Term Communications Plan (LTCP) announced by EMV in October 2014. As previously communicated in circular 245:05:13, LSV will be receiving new radio terminals and transitioning onto a digital radio network which will have equal or greater network coverage and be far superior in terms of functionality to what is currently available to our members.