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New Automation and Robotics Test Facility Coming to WA

Work has now started on the Australian Automation and Robotics Precinct in Neerabup, which will form one of the biggest test facilities of its kind in the world. The 51-hectare precinct, around 40km north of Perth, will be a major hub for testing and research into the latest developments in automation, remote operation and robotic systems.

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 AARP.

It will provide suppliers and operators of automation and robotics equipment or systems with access to specialist infrastructure including:

  • Common User Test Beds, with multiple areas and roadways for physical testing;
  • A Common User Facility operation building; and
  • Supporting research and development facilities.

The Government committed $20 million towards the precinct as part of its WA Recovery Plan announced last year to create jobs and diversify the economy.

The development of the facility will generate at least 70 construction jobs as the precinct is built over the next three years, and up to 5000 ongoing jobs in the fields of robotics, automation and remote operations. 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 site has the potential to expand to 94ha to accommodate future growth and will not be sub-divided – remaining a long-term Common User Facility asset for Western Australia.

An Industry Advisory Group has also been established, while the AARP will collaborate with university and industry research sectors by offering Doctoral top-up scholarships for projects that support the WA economy and the precinct’s objectives. The precinct will also support the resources industry’s bid to transition to Net Zero Carbon status by providing facilities for the testing of new technologies.

The WA Lands Minister stated that the start of works on the Australian Automation and Robotics Precinct marks a huge step towards preparing our economy for the future. He noted that 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.

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 local expertise, he said.

The region’s Innovation and ICT Minister stated that the will further enhance 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.

He noted that Western Australia is a recognised world leader in the field of automation for the mining sector, and this new facility will see this same success mirrored across a range of industries. The precinct 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.

Meanwhile, the Wanneroo MLA said that the precinct will provide exciting job opportunities in the developing automation and robotics industry for young people right here close to home. Moreover, diversifying the economy to provide jobs for the future is happening right here in Neerabup in the northern suburbs.

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