ESTA capability and service review: final report
The Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) plays a critical role in Victoria’s emergency management response model. The services delivered by ESTA connect people in need of immediate emergency assistance with Victorian emergency service organisations (ESOs). These ESOs are:
- Ambulance Victoria (AV)
- the Country Fire Authority (CFA)
- Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV)
- Victoria Police (VicPol) and
- the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES).
For some time now, there has been significant concern around the effectiveness of ESTA’s capability and capacity to deliver consistent Triple Zero (000) services across Victoria. Acknowledging the importance of understanding and addressing the organisational and operational failures that continued to impact on ESTA’s service delivery, the Victorian Government commissioned the ESTA Capability and Service Review (the Review) in 2021, which is the subject of this report.
The Review has considered all aspects of ESTA’s operating model and assessed ESTA’s capabilities against the core services it delivers. Such a comprehensive and fulsome understanding of ESTA’s services has informed the 20 recommendations within this report. These insights have only been possible because of the willingness of the ESTA workforce, ESOs and other key stakeholders to engage with the Review and embrace the challenging conversations required to learn from the past. This spirit of cooperation and engagement throughout the Review reflects how highly valued ESTA’s work is across the emergency management sector (the sector) and government departments generally, and this cooperation and engagement will need to continue as the sector looks to implement recommendations to achieve the necessary future state outlined in this report.
The Review has been completed during a particularly complex and challenging time for ESTA. Throughout the Review, ESTA and its leadership have continued to implement enhancements to improve its Triple Zero (000) call-taking and dispatch (CTD) service delivery. Equally, in response to continued and sustained high demand for ESTA services, the Victorian Government has committed to increasing ESTA’s CTD workforce. These activities provide a strong foundation from which the reforms outlined in this report can be implemented.
The Government supports in principle all 20 recommendations from the Review. Five recommendations are already well underway, with work on remaining recommendations to begin immediately.
The record $333 million package funded in the Victorian Budget 2022/23 forms part of the Government response, and will deliver more than 400 staff to ESTA, build a better support and surge capability for busy times, provide further wellbeing support to look after frontline workers, and support further IT and security system upgrades.
The Government won’t waste a minute in implementing these vital reforms, with the ESTA Capability and Service Taskforces to immediately begin working to enable the reforms, in consultation with unions and stakeholders.
Working with ESTA and our emergency services, we’ll deliver a stronger, faster Triple Zero service for all Victorians.
Reviewed 19 May 2022