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Australia & New Zealand Align on Positioning

The Australian Government will be collaborating with New Zealand on a project to improve positioning capability in the Australasia region.

The two countries will work together to test instant, accurate and reliable positioning technology that could provide future safety, productivity, efficiency and environmental benefits across many industries in the region, including transport, agriculture, construction, and resource management.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said he welcomed New Zealand contributing an additional $2 million to the $12 million in project funding announced by the Australian Government in January 2017.

“The two-year project will test SBAS technology that has the potential to improve positioning accuracy in the region to less than five centimetres. Currently, positioning in Australasia is usually accurate to five to ten metres.

“Not only do we use positioning technology everyday through apps like Google Maps but it is essential to all four transport sectors - aviation, maritime, rail, and road.

“Improving positioning technology has the potential to open up a whole range of new opportunities for transport sectors, including building on technological developments in maritime navigation and automated train management systems to a future that includes driverless and connected cars.”

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said research had shown that the wide-spread adoption of improved positioning technology has the potential to generate upwards of $73 billion of value to Australia by 2030.

“This technology has potential uses in a range of sectors, including agriculture and mining, which have always played an important role in our economy, and will also be at the heart of future growth in Northern Australia,” Senator Canavan said.

The project will involve Geoscience Australia and the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI) working closely with a number of New Zealand organisations, including Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), the New Zealand Transport Agency, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and the Ministry of Transport.

Earlier this month, technology companies GMV, Inmarsat, and Lockheed Martin joined the project. The companies have been involved in implementing SBAS technology around the world, and will be involved in the technical components of the test-bed.

In March, the project will call for organisations from a number of industries including agriculture, aviation, construction, mining, maritime, road, spatial, and utilities to participate in the test-bed.