A new emergency services smartphone application, Alert SA, will be ditched by the South Australian Government after users could not access fire alerts during catastrophic weather conditions on Saturday.
Saturday’s weather created what Emergency Services Minister Chris Picton described as the “worst fire danger conditions seen in years”, but the app collapsed before it was needed most when a serious bushfire broke out in the state’s south-east.
The Government met with the Victorian-based contractor, Ripe Intelligence, on Sunday and decided not to continue its contract with the provider once it expires in June.
The Government said it no longer had confidence in its reliability.
“It’s a very serious issue in what we see as a very serious problem with their systems,” Mr Picton said.
“That’s why we’re taking very significant action in terms of advising the public to not use the Alert SA app anymore.”
The Government is also considering possible legal action against Ripe Intelligence, which was contracted to provide 99.9 per cent reliability at a cost of $284,000 per year.
Emergency services have encouraged people to use more traditional methods, such as the Country Fire Service (CFS) website and ABC radio, to source information.
The Government is considering replacement options for Alert SA, including a CFS app specifically for bushfire alerts.
The Alert SA app has been downloaded by about 170,000 phone users.