Monday, 8 February 2021

Queensland a step closer to more accessible positioning capability

Local industries, including agriculture and construction, are among the first in Queensland to benefit from more reliable and accessible positioning technology, with Bundaberg one of the first to receive upgrades to Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) ground stations.

Speaking in Bundaberg today, Federal Member for Hinkler and Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the improvements will help increase productivity and open up new economic opportunities.

“GNSS ground station data from stations like the one in Bundaberg make it possible to get reliable and precise positioning down from around ten metres to just three centimetres accuracy in areas of mobile phone coverage,” Mr Pitt said.

“This level of accuracy benefits all sorts of GNSS users, such as those in the survey, agriculture, mining and construction sectors.

“The Bundaberg upgrade is just the start for Queensland – through the National Positioning Infrastructure Capability (NPIC), Queenslanders can expect to see 30 existing stations upgraded and an expanded network of approximately 50 additional stations to fill gaps in coverage, improving performance and accessibility.

“These existing and proposed stations are spaced evenly throughout the state and add another piece to the puzzle to improve precise positioning infrastructure into the future. 

“Of the 30 stations in Queensland, Bundaberg and Townsville stations have been upgraded and the remaining stations across Queensland and the rest of Australia will be updated by 30 June 2022. 

“The Federal Government is investing around $225 million to establish a world-class satellite positioning capability in Australia through the Positioning Australia Program, including the delivery of NPIC and a new Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS).”

The Queensland sites are managed jointly between Geoscience Australia and the Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy. The Bundaberg station is the only station jointly operated with the Bundaberg Regional Council. 

Australia’s new SBAS, officially named the Southern Positioning Augmentation Network, or SouthPAN, will improve the accuracy of positioning from 5-10 metres to 10 centimetres without the need for mobile or internet coverage.  

More information about Geoscience Australia’s Positioning Australia program is available here.

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