- $22 million to further improve innovative agricultural telecommunications in regional Western Australia
- Will provide productivity, commercial and social benefits to regional agricultural communities
The Liberal National Government today announced the establishment of a $22 million telecommunications fund to support the improvement of innovative infrastructure that will strengthen the growth and business productivity of the agricultural sector.
The State Agricultural Telecommunications Infrastructure Improvement Fund (Telecommunications Fund), made possible through Royalties for Regions, will create the opportunity for high-priority innovative agricultural telecommunications infrastructure and technology to be constructed in regional areas of Western Australia.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the Telecommunications Fund would enable more private and industry agricultural organisations in regional WA to construct or adopt emerging technologies to ensure the State's agriculture sector remained internationally competitive.
"Royalties for Regions is investing in the development and adoption of new technologies, which will drive the agriculture industry and future economy of regional Western Australia," Mr Redman said.
"This Telecommunications Fund will invest in projects providing direct long-term benefits and impact on the agricultural industry. This could include improving mobile and internet coverage in innovative ways, improvements in knowledge management systems, or better utilisation of wireless technologies and computer-aided or controlled devices.
"The ability of organisations and businesses to understand and fully participate in the environment in which they operate, will ensure they optimise the success of their businesses and wider agricultural industry."
Agriculture and Food Minister Mark Lewis said the capacity to access high speed internet was the key to future business improvement and productivity gains, and to re-establishing WA's international competitiveness.
"Autonomous vehicles, variable rate technologies, real-time weather applications and remote sensing are just a few of the opportunities which will open up to WA agriculture through blanket digital coverage of farming regions and enhanced download speeds," Mr Lewis said.
Commerce Minister Michael Mischin said the State Government's investment would further improve access to mobile telephone and data coverage in regional agricultural regions of Western Australia.
"Improved connectivity will support the agriculture industry by enabling farming businesses to access smart science, develop a more agile supply chain through e-commerce, and make use of smart farming apps readily available," Mr Mischin said.
"It's not just about the phone reception now; it's the ability to send and receive data where farmers can manage their equipment, paddocks and staff remotely."
- Part of a wider $75 million Infrastructure Investment Fund for agriculture infrastructure across regional WA, through the Royalties for Regions $350 million Seizing the Opportunity Agriculture initiative
- Investment in strategic agriculture infrastructure projects was identified as a priority in the Infrastructure Audit Report: Evaluation of Western Australia's Agriculture Infrastructure Priorities available at http://www.drd.wa.gov.au
- Find out more about Royalties for Regions at https://rfrmap.drd.wa.gov.au
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700
Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 6400
Commerce Minister's office - 6552 5600