- Ross Leach Mobile Phone tower turned on to bring better mobile and data coverage to the Goodlands district
- McGowan Government contributed $260,000 to upgrade the tower and improve digital connectivity
Tribute has been paid to a farmer and technology pioneer in the Wheatbelt, whose bequeathment - alongside investment from the McGowan Government, the private sector and the local shire - will deliver improved digital connectivity to the Goodlands district.
The Ross Leach Mobile Phone tower was formally switched on today by Darren West MLC, Parliamentary Secretary to the Agriculture and Food Minister, alongside local farmers and community members.
The McGowan Government contributed $260,000 from its Digital Farm Grants program towards the upgrade of the mobile base station to supply an enhanced 3G and 4G service, in association with commercial partner Telstra, the Kalannie community and the Shire of Dalwallinu.
The Kalannie Community Association chose to direct Ross Leach's $20,000 bequeathment to the project, which will generate enduring business and lifestyle benefits to his community.
The upgrade will provide Goodlands with reliable mobile voice and broadband coverage with faster download speeds and greater bandwidth to approximately 25 agribusiness and their families across 3,894sq km.
The Digital Farm Grants program is extending high grade broadband services to more than 1,400 agribusiness enterprises across over 65,000sq km of the Kimberley, Gascoyne, Mid-West, Wheatbelt, Peel, South-West and Great Southern.
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"The Ross Leach Mobile Phone tower is a lasting legacy to Ross Leach and his pursuit of technological solutions to farming challenges.
"This was a generous gesture from the local community, which will keep Ross's spirit of determination and progress alive, helping famers in the district to improve productivity and profitability by embracing technology.
"The Digital Farm Grants program is a terrific initiative that is helping bridge the 'digital divide', providing enterprise grade broadband essential to modern business operations - especially those in areas like Goodlands that depend on fast, reliable connectivity to remain competitive."
Comments attributed to Agricultural Region MLC Darren West:
"This improved service exemplifies the strong collaborations the Digital Farm program relies on, bringing together the State, private sector and community to build a better tomorrow.
"I want to thank the Kalannie Community Association for their support for the project, which serves as a testament to the late Ross Leach as a pioneering farmer in the region.
"The McGowan Government's Digital Farm program is continuing to deliver for regional farming communities, bringing the high-speed broadband we need for our farms to thrive."
Minister's office - 6552 6200