Albanese Government delivers better connectivity for farmers and regional Australia
The Albanese Government has delivered a significant connectivity boost for Australian farmers, and rural and regional communities across Australia in its 2022-23 Federal Budget with dedicated funding to support greater on-farm connectivity and expanding the Regional Tech Hub.
Delivering on a key election commitment, the Federal Budget includes $30 million committed over three years for the On Farm Connectivity Program (OFCP) to grow Australia’s agricultural sector through extended connectivity for farmers and their machinery.
The OFCP will enhance local agricultural productivity by increasing the usage of connected machinery and sensor technology, and supporting farmers as they broaden their local and global market reach.
The investment in OFCP is complemented by its support for the Regional Tech Hub, with $6 million invested over the next three years committed to helping the independent service support more regional, rural and remote Australians troubleshoot connectivity issues.
The funding extension will ensure rural and regional communities can get connected sooner, achieve better consumer awareness, and improve their connectivity literacy.
The Hub is being delivered by the National Farmers’ Federation in collaboration with the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network and in liaison with a range of stakeholders including the Better Internet for Rural, Regional and Remote Australia.
The Hub has a website, phone call-back service, online chat function and pop up stalls at regional events, providing independent and free advice about telecommunications services to rural and regional Australians.
These commitments are part of a $2.2 billion investment in regional telecommunications over the next five years, which represents a major increase in regional communications funding. For more information on the OFCP visit infrastructure.gov.au/bcp
For more information on the Hub, including tips to improve your internet experience, visit https://regionaltechhub.org.au/
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:
“The Albanese Government is taking action to improve the lives of rural and regional Australians, including our hardworking farmers.
“We live in an increasingly digital and competitive society and measures like the On Farm Connectivity Program will ensure our agricultural sector has every opportunity and the best technology to take advantage of an increasingly digital economy.
“The agriculture industry is a core part of Australia’s economic architecture, employing thousands of people, feeding millions more, and a supplier of choice for many importers overseas.
“Supporting the important work of the Regional Tech Hub over the next three years will provide more support for regional and remote Australians troubleshoot connectivity issues”.
“I am delighted to be delivering for rural and regional Australians and look forward to working closely with local communities to improve their quality of life through better connectivity”.