Automation and robotics in the Australian mining and resources sector will have a dedicated home as works begun on a facility in Neerabup in Western Australia.
The 51-hectare Australian Automation and Robotics Precinct (AARP), around 40 kilometres north of Perth, will be a major hub for testing and research into the latest developments in automation, remote operation and robotic systems.
The facility will also support the resources industry’s bid to transition to net zero carbon status by providing facilities for the testing of new technologies.
A broad range of industries including mining and resources, defence, oil and gas, agriculture, space, logistics, construction, advanced manufacturing and the education sector are expected to use the AARP.
The facilities will enable companies and researchers the opportunity to accelerate technology, and analytics testing and scaling, without interrupting on-site production and activities.
The Western Australian Government committed $20 million towards the precinct as part of its WA Recovery Plan announced last year with the aim of creating jobs and diversifying the economy.
Innovation and ICT Minister Don Punch said Western Australia is a recognised world leader in the field of automation for the mining sector, and the new facility will see this same success mirrored across a range of industries
“This exciting precinct represents a $20 million investment by the McGowan Government in further enhancing WA’s position as a world leader in the growing fields of robotics and automation, and puts us in the best possible position to meet the opportunities and challenges of the future,” Punch said.
“This builds on the $100 million Investment Attraction and New Industries Fund announced in the recent State Budget to support and accelerate a range of emerging industries to diversify our economy and deliver the WA jobs of the future.”
Lands Minister Tony Buti said the start of works on the AARP marks a huge step towards preparing the Western Australian economy for the future.
“The creation of this technological hub will support innovation and underpin a diversified and future-ready economy that delivers secure jobs across a broad range of industries,” Buti said.
“AARP will provide exciting opportunities for a diverse range of WA industries to collaborate, share skills and expertise, and undertake joint ventures.
“Importantly, the flexible nature of this innovative precinct will ensure Western Australian industries are ready to capitalise on emerging trends across the globe and continue to build our local expertise.”