Member for Moore Shane Love MLA has welcomed funding of $1.26 million to groups in the Mid West and Goodlands under the first round of the Digital Farms program.
Mr Love said the project was basically a rebranding of the $22 million State Agricultural Telecommunications Infrastructure Improvement Fund, an initiative of the Nationals WA in the last term of government.
“Labor renamed the program the Agricultural Telecommunications Infrastructure Improvement Fund and maintained the $22 million funding originally nominated by the Nationals in the former government,” Mr Love said.
“The Nationals acknowledged that farmers and associated businesses were constrained by the available internet and formulated this program to address gaps in service.”
Funding has been allocated to groups in Goodlands ($260,000), the North Midlands ($500,000) and Chapman Valley and Northampton ($500,000).
“These groups have been working with the relevant Development Commissions to address these gaps in service for some time,” Mr Love said.
“I am very pleased that Telstra has been awarded funds for a mobile tower at Goodlands in the Dalwallinu Shire, given that mobile coverage was nonexistent and landlines in the area were unreliable.”
Mr Love said the North Midlands project encompassed 20,000 square kilometres in the Shires of Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs, Mingenew, Perenjori and Morawa and would benefit those on farming properties and the townships.
“High speed, fixed wireless broadband will be made available to over 7,500 people in the North Midlands area, addressing issues of poor internet coverage and mobile coverage,” he added.
“These farming businesses in the North Midlands will now be able to access next generation services with superior speeds and data allowances – all at a reasonable price.”