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Rural WA to benefit from telecommunications fund

For more information, contact Shane Love (Member for Moore ).

Member for Moore Shane Love MLA has welcomed news of the State Government’s new $22 million Royalties for Regions-backed telecommunications fund.

Mr Love said the fund set out to improve innovative agricultural telecommunications in regional WA that will strengthen the growth and business productivity of the agricultural sector.

“I can foresee a need among grower groups working on projects that require access to high speed broadband where they are perhaps dealing with large data sets,” he added.

“But this program is also about enabling agricultural communities so that they have the same high speed internet as their city-based counterparts.”

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 that 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.