Budget 2018: funding extends Australia’s satellite and GPS capability


The Federal Government will invest more than $260 million over four years to enhance Australia’s satellite and GPS (Global Positioning System) capabilities.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan announced  the package will include a $160.9 million investment in a new Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) which will improve the reliability and the accuracy of positioning data by a factor of 50 (from five metres to 10 centimetres) across Australia and its maritime zone.

“More accurate GPS will improve productivity by allowing new technology to be created and used across the economy. Growing Australia’s digital economy will also benefit developed sectors such as mining, transport, construction, aviation and agriculture,” Canavan said.

“More precise technology will make Australian businesses more productive, safer and more efficient.”

$36.9 million will also be allocated to Digital Earth Australia, a digital platform that uses satellite data to detect geological and topographical changes across Australia, providing valuable data to local mining, agricultural, property and infrastructure development industries, as well as environmental agencies. .

This builds on an initial investment of $15.3 million from last year’s budget.

A $64 million investment in the National Positioning Infrastructure Capability (NPIC) will complement the SBAS to improve GPS precision.

Led by Geoscience Australia, the NPIC enables accuracy and reliability from a new generation of positioning systems technology and data.

The NPIC will deliver data with accuracy between three to five centimetres for regional and metropolitan zones within the mobile network coverage area, and up to 10 centimetres elsewhere in Australia.

“Our investment in satellite imagery will ensure a range of Australian industries have access to data that can help them tailor their investments, create jobs in target regions and increase their competitiveness, “Canavan said.