- $2.3 million for the first round of Digital Farm grants announced
- Grants to fill broadband gaps in regional Western Australia and drive agtech opportunities
- Scheme will extend services to more than 1,100 farms across 37,000 square kilometres
The McGowan Government is driving the closure of the digital divide in regional Western Australia, bringing high-speed broadband to more than 1,000 farms to help boost agricultural output and create jobs.
The first round of the Digital Farm program will provide $2.3 million to four successful applications, who have committed matching funding to provide a high-speed broadband service outside the current or planned National Broadband Network.
The scheme will extend services to more than 1,100 farming enterprises across more than 37,000 square kilometres in the North Midlands and Great Southern, and the districts of Chapman Valley, Mount Barker, Wickepin and Goodlands.
The Digital Farm program has accelerated commercial investment by extending digital services throughout the regions, allowing farmers to adopt new technology essential for modern business.
A number of other projects are under active development and a further round of recipients is expected in coming months.
More information about successful projects is available at http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/digitalfarmgrants
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"As technology advances, so does the need for high-speed connectivity: regional Western Australia cannot afford to be left behind in the digital age.
"This investment will help give our farmers the competitive edge to grow their industry and create job opportunities across regional WA."
Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"Our farm businesses need access to a fast, reliable broadband service to be able to operate in today's increasingly sophisticated, competitive global environment.
"The Turnbull Government's NBN has failed regional Western Australia, with the Skymuster satellite service unable to cope with the needs of modern agricultural businesses.
"We're stepping in to fill the gap because our Government understands that 21st century broadband is critical for agricultural jobs and regional development.
"The new services will be rolled out as the infrastructure is completed, providing more rural businesses and people living in the regions with a fast, reliable, affordable and scalable broadband service."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 6200