Alert SA app scratched by State Government

DISGRACE: The Alert SA app is still operational yet will no longer be supported by emergency services due to failing to operate on Saturday.
DISGRACE: The Alert SA app is still operational yet will no longer be supported by emergency services due to failing to operate on Saturday.

South Australians and particularly those in regional and rural areas will no longer be able to rely on the Alert SA app after it failed to provide updates on bushfire information on Saturday when several districts were under a catastrophic fire danger classification. 

App users should be advised that emergency services will no longer be supporting the use of the Alert SA app as a method of providing public notifications about emergency incidents. 

The Victorian company, Ripe Intelligence have been contracted by the State Government and are contractually responsible for ensuring 99.9 percent of reliability of the system.

Since Saturday’s events, Emergency Services Minister, Chris Picton has said they will not be renewing the contract which expires in June, and instead will be seeking legal advice to investigate how the taxpayer can best be protected. 

Minister Picton says that those who seek information on in emergency situations should refer to the traditional information providers including the CFS website, social media, ABC radio alerts, the Bushfire Information Hotline and the national emergency alert system. 

“These all functioned well [on Saturday] and South Australians should continue to seek updates from these multiple sources of information in the event on an emergency.”

“[Saturday’s] outage of the Alert SA app was a disgrace- on the day when South Australians faced the worst fire danger conditions seen in years, the Alert SA pp needed to perform and it didn’t.”

Minister Picton requested that the CEO of Ripe Intelligence travel to Adelaide to meet with him, yet the Minister and SAFECOM were not provided with adequate assurance by the company that another failure would not occur in the future. 

“I am not satisfied, after meeting with Ripe Intelligence that the failure experienced yesterday won’t be repeated and I and our emergency services have lost confidence in this app to provide 99.9 percent reliability as is stipulated in our contract.”

“It is vital for South Australians to use a variety of sources of information to ensure you have the most up to date information about emergency incidents should they occur”, Minister Picton said. 

The State Government will now work on a new mobile solution that will be controlled by emergency services that will focus on robustness.