Queenslanders will benefit from advanced satellite positioning as the Australian Government partners with the Queensland Government, and the private sector, to improve GPS accuracy, taking the data available to Australians from metres down to centimetres.
The Minister for Resources and Water, Keith Pitt said the Australian Government has made a significant investment towards national positioning infrastructure, as part of a $76 million annual investment into the Positioning Australia program led by Geoscience Australia.
“For Queensland this means 156 continuously operating reference stations,” Minister Pitt said.
“Nationally there will be an extra 57 reference stations as part of our 700 plus strong reference station network.”
Attending the University of Southern Queensland on behalf of Minister Pitt, Member for Groom, Garth Hamilton MP said Queensland was a strong example of the collaborative approach driving this project, with over 56 existing Queensland reference stations operated by the private sector, including Position Partners and HxGN SmartNet Australia.
“This public-private approach is establishing high-quality satellite positioning infrastructure and opening the door to the sort of innovation we are seeing at the University of Southern Queensland,” Mr Hamilton said.
“This technology will improve positioning accuracy from 5 to 10 metres, right down to 3 to 5 centimetres in areas with mobile phone coverage. The benefits this infrastructure brings are enormous for Queensland. It will improve productivity and increase efficiencies across many industries, including agriculture, construction, resources, road, rail, and spatial to name a few.
“The Spatial Science Technology students I met with today will be the face of Queensland’s positioning industry. These students are utilising this precise positioning data as part of their coursework and unlocking the services and technologies that will empower industry and our community.”
Position Partners supports the construction, mining, and geospatial sectors with intelligent positioning solutions throughout Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. The firm’s Queensland team has worked closely with the University of Southern Queensland to provide modern surveying instruments for students, including reference stations at the Springfield and Toowoomba campuses.
“It’s wonderful to see students utilising the latest technology, including remotely piloted aircraft, robotics, and 3D scanning instruments, backed by robust and accurate positioning data,” said Martin Nix, CEO of Position Partners.
“Demand for accurate positioning is growing exponentially across industry, government, and academic sectors, and we are pleased to collaborate with Geoscience Australia and partners such as the University of Southern Queensland to enable these cutting-edge applications.”
Some of the projects students have worked on that utilised accurate positioning data include regulations for unmanned vehicles, sugar cane yield mapping, seagrass cover, pedestrian mobility, land subsidence detection, and solar panel viability.
Minister Pitt said the expansion and upgrade of the reference station network in Queensland was advancing, with Geoscience Australia anticipating completion by the end of 2022.
“This new positioning infrastructure will stimulate the Queensland economy by increasing innovation and enabling regional business to increase efficiency, productivity and safety,” Minister Pitt said.
“Farmers, transport companies, miners, local government, land managers, marine, aviation, and space industries will use this GPS-based technology to do more and create jobs.”