Emergency radio coverage to be improved in Royal National Park

Radio communications in remote parts of the Royal National Park will be improved  thanks to a a new government radio network site at the Garrawarra Centre, Waterfall.
Radio communications in remote parts of the Royal National Park will be improved thanks to a a new government radio network site at the Garrawarra Centre, Waterfall.

Critical communications for emergency services in the Royal National Park has been boosted with the instalment of a new government radio network site in Waterfall.

The new site at Garrawarra Centre will be invaluable to community safety by in-filling coverage spots in the national park

Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said the Garrawarra Centre network site was

''The new site allows our public safety agencies to better protect the Royal National Park and visitors during a critical incident, such as a bushfire or flood,'' Dominello said.

Member for Heathcote Lee Evans said: ''The new site at Garrawarra Centre extends the network coverage from just the paved roads within the Royal National Park by providing in-fill coverage in the deep valleys between Waterfall and Stanwell Tops.''

The new site at Garrawarra Centre is part of the NSW Telco Authority's Critical Communications Enhancement Program (CCEP) which is increasing the government radio network from 190 sites to approximately 700, with coverage expanding from 35 per cent of the State to over 80 per cent.

''We are investing $320 million over the next four years to expand the GRN across the State. This represents the biggest investment in critical communications infrastructure in two decades,'' Mr Dominello said.

While the Garrawarra Centre site will improve coverage for public safety agencies it will not enhance mobile phone networks to avoid scenarios like that which occurred at Wattamolla late last year.

On November 1 a 20-year-old man died after jumping from rocks into the lagoon at Wattamolla.

George Ordenes

George Ordenes

A Cronulla lifesaver at the scene tried to revive the Bangladeshi national as his wife drove to a spot where she could get mobile phone reception in order to call for help.

George Ordenes said at the time it was "very frustrating" not being able to get mobile phone reception to call for help immediately and being forced to look for a coverage spot.

"I asked my wife to drive and find signal so she could call OOO," he said.

"Within 15 to 20 minutes from when the call got through, we had helicopters ambulance and police," he said.