Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC

Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC

Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food; Ports; Minister Assisting the Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade

    Digital connectivity boost for the Ord

    20/11/2018 2:30 PM
    • $1 million to provide high-quality broadband to Kununurra and the Ord River Irrigation Area
    • Digital Farm Grants to deliver affordable, scalable broadband to more than 1,240 businesses across 41,000 square kilometres of regional WA 

    Growers in the Ord River Irrigation Area are set to join the ag-tech revolution, with the McGowan Government's Digital Farm program to deliver enterprise-grade broadband across Kununurra and the Ord.


    Two adjacent networks will be deployed to cover more than 40 farm businesses over nearly 1,700 square kilometres in the East Kimberley, as part of the Digital Farm initiative to bridge the 'digital divide' in regional Western Australia.


    The grants, totalling $1 million in matching funding, have been allocated to extend broadband access to areas that are not adequately serviced by the NBN fixed wireless and fixed line footprint.


    The new network will provide a fast, reliable, digital service to agricultural businesses in Kununurra, the industrial area, and the southern and central parts of the Ord River farmland.


    These are the final projects from the first round of Digital Farm Grants, worth a total of $5 million, providing access to affordable, scalable broadband to more than 1,240 enterprises across 41,000 square kilometres of the Kimberley, Mid-West, Wheatbelt, Peel, South-West and Great Southern regions.


    For more information about these projects, visit the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's website at http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/digitalfarmgrants


    Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:


    "This new digital network will help to drive agricultural productivity and expansion in the Ord, and will provide existing growers with a competitive edge in a global market.


    "This grant will initially provide coverage to around 40 businesses along the Ord - including large-scale, high-intensity horticultural properties - and we expect uptake will increase as the Ord continues to grow.


    "Modern businesses - no matter where they are located - require a high-quality broadband service to be able to operate in an increasingly competitive global environment.


    "This program has responded to a dire need for digital connection in the regions and successfully attracted commercial investment to deliver broadband services to businesses and residents throughout our State.


    "Regional businesses and residents will get to enjoy the benefits of a fast and reliable broadband service as the telecommunications infrastructure is installed."


    Minister's office - 6552 6200