Australia’s primary emergency call service number is Triple Zero (000), which can be dialled from any fixed or mobile phone, pay phones and certain Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services.
There are also two secondary emergency call service numbers—112 and 106.
112 is available from all GSM or GSM derived mobile phones. 106 connects to the text-based relay service for people who have a hearing or speech impairment. All calls to the emergency numbers, whether from fixed, mobile, pay phones or VoIP services are free-of-charge.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has produced a webpage of Frequently asked questions on the Emergency Call Service.
For more information on the 106 Text Emergency Relay Service, Triple Zero (000) by internet relay and Triple Zero (000) by Speak and Listen, go to the National Relay Service website.
106—Text Emergency Relay Service
If you have a hearing or speech impairment and your life or property is in danger, you can contact police, fire or ambulance on 106 directly through a TTY (also known as a teletypewriter or textphone). It is not possible to contact emergency services using the Short Message Service (SMS) on your mobile telephone.
The Australian 106 Text Emergency Relay Service is provided as part of the National Relay Service (NRS). The service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls made using the 106 service are given priority over other NRS calls.
Using the 106 Text Emergency Relay Service
- Dial 106, which is a toll-free number
- You will be asked if you want police (type PPP), fire (FFF) or ambulance (type AAA). Note Speak and Listen (or voice carry over) users just need to say 'police', 'fire' or 'ambulance' to the relay officer
- The relay officer will dial the correct service and stay on the line to relay your conversation
- As a TTY is connected to a fixed line, the emergency service can locate where you are calling from
- You will be asked to confirm your address
- The 106 service can only be dialled from a TTY, it cannot be used by:
- an ordinary phone
- text message (SMS) on a mobile phone, or
- internet relay.
If you have further questions you can contact the National Relay Service Help Desk (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm AEST).
When calling from a mobile telephone
Triple Zero (000) is Australia's primary telephone number to call for assistance in life threatening or time critical emergency situations.
112 is a secondary emergency number that can be dialled from mobile phones in Australia. Special capabilities, including roaming, once only existed when dialling 112, however mobile phones manufactured since January 2002 also provide these capabilities when dialling Triple Zero (000) to access the Emergency Call Service.
There is a misconception that 112 calls will be carried by satellite if there is no mobile coverage. Satellite phones use a different technology and your mobile phone cannot access a satellite network.
Important – if there is no mobile coverage on any network, you will not be able to reach the Emergency Call Service via a mobile phone, regardless of which number you dialled.
To find out more about calling Triple Zero (000) from a mobile telephone, visit the Australian Communications and Media Authority website.
112—International standard emergency number
Triple Zero (000) is Australia's primary telephone number to call for assistance in life threatening or time critical emergency situations. Dialling 112 directs you to the same Triple Zero (000) call service and does not give your call priority over Triple Zero (000).
112 is an international standard emergency number which can only be dialled on a digital mobile phone. It is accepted as a secondary international emergency number in some parts of the world, including Australia, and can be dialled in areas of GSM network coverage with the call automatically translated to that country’s emergency number. It does not require a simcard or pin number to make the call, however phone coverage must be available (any carrier) for the call to proceed.
There is no advantage to dialling 112 over Triple Zero (000). Calls to 112 do not go to the head of the queue for emergency services, and it is not true that it is the only number that will work on a mobile phone.
Dialling 112 from a fixed line telephone in Australia (including payphones) will not connect you to the emergency call service as it is only available from digital mobile phones.
Voice over Internet Protocol
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that allows telephone calls to be made over broadband Internet connections.
Some VoIP providers may not provide access to emergency calls, so check with your VoIP provider if you require the emergency call service.
For information about using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) visit the Communications Alliance website.
For more information on the key issues to consider before changing to VoIP is available on the Australian Communications and Media Authority website.
State and territory emergency service organisations
Within Australia, the protection of life and property is the responsibility of state and territory governments. A number of Emergency Services Organisations (ESO) provide their own information on what to do in an emergency.
For more information, visit the state and territory emergency services organisations page.
911 is the emergency telephone number used in other countries such as the United States and Canada. This number should not be used in an emergency in Australia. If dialled within Australia, this number will not re-route emergency calls to Triple Zero (000).