Kelly Bayer Rosmarin avoids answering questions about resignation

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“I haven’t seen any reports today,” Bayer Rosmarin said after a three-second pause. “I’ve been preparing for being here.”

Optus has faced widespread criticism for its handling of the outage, with some customers left unable to make triple zero emergency calls, while train networks, businesses and hospitals were also impacted.

Senate inquiry chair Senator Sarah Hanson-Young grilled Optus executives.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

More than 200 triple zero emergency calls were unable to go through on the day of the outage, Bayer Rosmarin revealed on Friday.

“There were 228 triple zero calls that were unable to go through, and we have done welfare checks on all of those 228 calls. And thankfully everybody is okay,” the executive said.

“We started doing the welfare checks after our connectivity resumed.


“We absolutely believe that the triple zero system should have worked and it’s critical for all Australians the system can be relied upon. We don’t manage the triple zero system. It’s a very complex system that involves all the carriers. It involves the device manufacturers … We’re still investigating that and we’re really happy that the ACMA [the communications regulator] has called an investigation into why this did not work.”

Bayer Rosmarin did not directly answer a question from Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young as to whether there should be a fine or penalty for failing to provide critical triple zero services for some customers.

“Chair, as I’ve tried to explain, we don’t run the triple zero system. We participate in the triple zero system.”

Hanson-Young responded: “I think you should just … I think this is going to wear thin.

“I think you’re just going to have to cough up, accept responsibility, apologise and cop a penalty, surely.”


Optus has paid out $36,000 in compensation for the outage to date, Bayer Rosmarin said, with 8500 customers so far seeking compensation from the telco, totalling $430,000. Optus is in the process of assessing the veracity of those compensation claims, Bayer Rosmarin said.

She added that the telco would be unable to determine the full impact of the outage on small businesses across the country.

Friday’s committee hearing was the first of a number of probes into the outage including post-incident reviews by both the Communications Department and communications watchdog, the Australian Communications Media Authority.

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