Queensland’s agriculture industry will have a new workplace health and safety tool thanks to a Digital Transformation Grant as part of Queensland’s Economic Recovery Plan.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the Central Highlands Regional Resources Use Planning Cooperative (CHRRUP) would use its $38,500 grant to develop the SafeStation app, which is custom-made for agriculture being used mostly by clients in Central Queensland.
“These grants were established under Queensland’s Economic Recovery plan to help our agricultural industries make better use of digital technologies and access new opportunities,” Mr Furner said.
“The COVID-19 Pandemic created serious challenges for the agriculture sector, but the Palaszczuk Government has worked closely with industry to find solutions for emerging problems and stand shoulder to shoulder with our farmers.”
The grant to CHRRUP will support a $78,000 project that will include:
- Enhancing the digital skills of agriculture businesses;
- Keep on-farm safety processes simple and practical; and
- Give employees and property owners vital safety information 24/7 via their smartphone or tablet.
“The grant means the SafeStation app project can be fast-tracked, and the program will have an important impact on farm safety,” Mr Furner said.
CHRRUP chief executive officer Simone Parker said the risk of serious injuries on farms meant establishing a strong safety culture was vital for any agribusiness.
“With over 20 years of experience supporting the ag industry we know the challenges that farmers face when it comes to meeting their WHS responsibilities and what sort of information they need on hand to make their workplace safer,” she said.
“The SafeStation App allows everything from policies and safe work procedures to individual chemical and vehicle maintenance logs to be accessed quickly and simply using a smartphone or tablet.
“We work with everyone in the business from owners to employees to create a system that works for their property and tailor the app accordingly.”
Mr Furner said a total of $5.5 million is being invested over three years through the Digital Transformation in Agribusiness Initiative.
“This funding, as part of our COVID-19 economic recovery strategy, will support agribusinesses to become digitally aware and ready to respond to future disruptions,” Mr Furner said.
“Digital technology creates new ways of doing things that adds value to the agricultural sector by working more precisely, efficiently and sustainably.
“It offers innovative ways to connect producers to consumers, reduce problems related to remoteness in rural communities, and attract the next generation to jobs in the industry.”
Mr Furner said there was strong interest from industry in the first round of the Agribusiness Digital Solutions Grant Program.
“There were 22 applications received and the diversity of project proposals demonstrates the opportunities digital technologies create for the sector,” he said.
“Under a co-investment model, grants of up to $200,000 were offered for projects that enhance digital skills, drive business efficiencies and create regional jobs across Queensland.
“The approved grants of $1.045 million are for projects that use a range of technologies including the Internet of Things, cloud computing, intelligent apps, big data, automation, artificial intelligence and sensors.”