The Australian Government has announced $20 million in funding for the second round of the Australian 5G Innovation initiative, with $2 million set aside for projects in eight Western Sydney council areas.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said the funding boost would further encourage the private sector to leverage the benefits of 5G technology to improve productivity.

“In the ‘Year of 5G’, the Australian 5G Innovation Initiative is helping to facilitate the trials of 5G technologies that can have a transformative impact across the Australian economy, including through applications like smart factories and warehouses, logistics management and autonomous vehicles,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Round one of the program was a success, with 19 new and innovative projects across multiple sectors including agriculture, construction, manufacturing, transport, and education and training underway.

“Under round two, we’ve set aside up to $2 million for projects in Western Sydney – building on the Morrison Government’s record investment in the region to drive job creation, enhance liveability and realise the bold vision for the Western Parkland City.”

Digital connectivity is a key focus of the city deal – over the last three years, all three levels of government have worked together to develop a Digital Action Plan, which sets out initiatives and actions to support the Western Parkland City becoming Australia’s first digitally-enabled smart city.

Successful grant recipients will develop and test 5G applications, services and products to demonstrate the commercial incentive for businesses to adopt 5G solutions.

Consultation on the draft guidelines is expected to commence in late 2021, with the announcement of successful projects to occur in 2022.

More information about the Initiative is available at www.communications.gov.au/5GInitiative.

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