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Connectivity is essential for all farm businesses to operate efficiently and to be able to adopt new technology. Yet blackspots, slow speeds and poor service hamper regional Australia every day. Although regional areas may not have the population base of urban hubs, the productivity outputs necessitate effective and high performing telecommunications to ensure Australia is competitive in international markets.

Emma Thomas, a grower from a mixed livestock and crop farm in NSW said telecommunications was a key pillar of her business. “The entire administrative and operational planning systems are web-based, with connectivity to mobile phones used to ensure data recording in the paddock transfers to a central online database” Thomas said.

A 2018 National Farmers’ Federation telecommunication survey found that nearly 10% of growers reported no mobile service across most of the land they farm, and nearly one-third reported less than a quarter of their farm was covered.

With telecommunication services playing a vital role in today’s farming, economic modelling has shown that digital agriculture could increase the gross value of Australian agricultural production by $20.3 billion, including benefit to the grains sector of $5.9 billion.

On Emma’s farm the value of a reliable network can make an immediate impact. “For us, connectivity means increased efficiency in the business and business decisions can be made quickly as information is accessible across the farms” Thomas said.

The current poor state of connectivity is preventing this opportunity from being realised across rural Australia. Under the hashtag #fixbushcomms GrainGrowers is joining the NFF and the broader Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition (RRRCC) and calling on farmers to share on social media how investments in telecommunications has benefitted their farming activities. Growers are also sharing screenshots of the phone coverage they receive around their properties to highlight how their business is hampered by limited coverage.

GrainGrowers Federal Election Priorities can be downloaded from the website. Results from the Regional Telecommunications review 2018 can be found here.



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GrainGrowers directly represents Australian growers. We work to build a more profitable and sustainable industry through our key pillars policy and advocacy, alongside grower and industry development. Our growers are at the heart of all that we do and the focus of our work.
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