Geoscience Australia A/CEO statement on funding for national positioning project

17 January 2017

I welcome the Australian Government's announcement that it will invest $12 million over three years to improve the capability of Australia's positioning infrastructure.

More than ever before, Australians rely on global positioning technologies to help us to get from Point A to Point B, to make our businesses more productive and to improve community safety.

The Commonwealth will invest the $12 million in a two-year project that will trial a Satellite Based-Augmentation System (SBAS) for Australia.

The SBAS test-bed is Australia's first step toward developing the positioning technology and expertise we need to be competitive globally and take our place as an industry leader in the Asia Pacific region.

Australia currently relies on the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) of other countries including the United States' Global Positioning System (GPS). These international systems working together, typically give Australians positioning accuracy of five to 10 metres. Our long-term plan will improve positioning accuracy in Australia to less than five centimetres.

The SBAS test-bed will utilise existing national GNSS infrastructure developed by AuScope as part of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.

It will test two new satellite positioning technologies- next generation SBAS and Precise Point Positioning, which provide positioning accuracies of several decimetres and five centimetres respectively.

Highly accurate positioning technologies are already available in Australia, but they are expensive and only available in specific areas and to niche markets.

Research has shown that the wide-spread adoption of improved positioning technology has the potential to generate upwards of $73 billion of value to Australia by 2030.1

Over the two year life of the project, we will be collaborating with a number of different industries to identify and capitalise on the benefits improved positioning technology offers in terms of productivity, innovation and expertise.

Early in 2017, with the Collaborative Research Centre for Spatial Information, we will call for organisations from a number of different industries including agriculture, aviation, construction, mining, maritime, road, spatial, and utilities to participate in the test-bed.

James Johnson
Acting Chief Executive Officer
Geoscience Australia

More information

More information about the SBAS test-bed and NPI Capability is available via the Geoscience Australia website.

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[1] Allen Consulting Group, 2008, Report on the Economic Benefits of High Resolution Positioning Services. Accessed 24 August 2015.