- McGowan Government to invest $8.1 million over four years to continue the eConnected digital data service to support agricultural business competitiveness
- Investment will also upgrade the State's network of 187 automated weather stations to aid primary production and emergency service responses
The McGowan Government will invest $8.1 million over four years to continue the successful eConnected program that underpins essential digital information and weather data supplied to Western Australia's primary industries, emergency services, academia and the regions.
The ongoing funding will secure the program's digital platform, which provides State departments and commercial app and software developers with access to data sources to develop a range of online tools, models, programs and decision-making aids.
The funding also includes upgrading and maintaining the State's network of 187 automated weather stations, on which farmers, travellers and emergency services have become increasingly reliant.
Digital data and real-time weather information is a crucial component of modern agribusiness, essential to make accurate, timely, data-driven decisions, while emergency responses use the resources to improve responses to fire, storms and sea rescues.
The delivery of digital data is being supported by the expansion of regional digital connectivity in the regions, as more infrastructure from the State's Digital Farm Grants program comes online to provide high-quality broadband to areas outside the National Broadband Network's fixed line and fixed wireless footprint.
Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"The eConnected project is critical to ensuring WA farmers have access to the data they need to remain competitive in today's increasingly dynamic global marketplace.
"The digital platform is a 'little hero', working away in the background to provide information we take for granted: rainfall data and extreme weather tools, the Statistical Seasonal Forecast, the PestFax app, and many commercial weather apps and farming software programs.
"The platform processed more than 92.2 million data requests in 2019 - more than double that of the previous year - reflecting the hunger for digital data by primary industry enterprises to improve business performance.
"The automated weather stations have become an integral resource for farmers, emergency services and the public, with more than 11,000 visits per month to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development weather website.
"Our ongoing commitment to the eConnected program will enable the program to work with industry and public and private partners to adapt and develop new technologies that boost agribusiness capability and capacity, which drives regional economic growth and jobs."
Minister's office - 6552 6200