Digital Farm grants program

To ensure that Western Australian farming businesses can benefit from digital farming technologies, the State Government has made it a priority to improve the provision of digital connectivity services across regional Western Australia.

Joint investment is sought from interested parties who wish to capitalise on Western Australia’s growing and export-oriented agricultural sector, through the provision of improved and fit-for-purpose digital connectivity services to farming businesses that are currently indicated by the National Broadband Network to receive Sky Muster™ satellite services.

$5 million has been allocated from the State Agricultural Telecommunications Infrastructure Improvement Fund for this grants program, which is administered by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (the Department).

Model Application

Each successful application will be eligible to receive up to $500,000 (GST exclusive) in grant funding, matched dollar for dollar at a maximum.

The Department may be able to provide information and referrals that could assist your project development activities during the application period.  This includes information on farms and farming groups within a local area, and information on potential access to telecommunication infrastructures and/or its supporting infrastructure in your chosen project area.

Grant funding will be provided to the Lead Applicant or nominated consortium or entity and can only be used for capital expenditures relating to the provision of improved digital connectivity services over a specified area.

As there will be a need to operate the telecommunication network after the project build phase, the Lead Applicant must be a licensed carrier under the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Commonwealth).

Applications will be evaluated on the number of farming enterprises covered and the ongoing sustainability of the network as an operational commercial entity.  As such, the applicant’s ability to attract other potential customers and investors; and ability to provide performance and price competitive digital connectivity services will also be assessed.  

Eligibility

Projects must be located in a regional area of Western Australia as defined in the Regional Development Commissions Act 1993 Schedule 1 (A copy of the Act’s definition is provided for your reference in Program Guidelines).

Projects must improve connectivity for farming businesses that are not currently serviced, or planned to be serviced by 2020, by the National Broadband Network fixed line or fixed wireless internet.

The Lead Applicant must hold a valid carrier licence under the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Commonwealth), and thereby be authorised to provide carriage services to the public.

Additional Information

The following documents provide further details on the eligibility criteria, application and assessment process and project management requirements.

Digital Farm – Program Guidelines

Digital Farm – Frequently Asked Questions

Digital Farm – Sample Grant Agreement Template

How to apply

The Digital Farm grants program is now open with applications closing on:

Friday 13 April 2018 at 5:00pm.

Applicants are encouraged to refer to the Funding Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions, and contact the Program Officer/s prior to submission.  The Department is not liable for the advice provided.

You can lodge your application via the Digital Farm SmartyGrants portal.

Contact Us

For more information please call Adam Edwards (08) 6552-2105 or Sue Cairns (08) 6552-2032 for assistance.

All enquiries can be emailed to: digital.farm@dpird.wa.gov.au

Page last updated: Friday, 19 January 2018 - 8:31am