Australian Broadband Advisory Council AgriTech Report

Thursday, 21st October 2021

This Broadband Futures Forum is free to register via Eventbrite.

This event is fully booked or has passed.

Registration is via Eventbrite:

A Zoom link will be provided to registered attendees just prior to the event.



ABAC (the Australian Broadband Advisory Council) was established by the Australian Government in 2020 to provide advice to the Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts on ways to maximise the benefits of high-speed networks in key sectors of the economy. The Council is made up of eminent Australians with expertise in innovation, connectivity and key sectors of the economy.

ABAC has taken a sector-by-sector approach to its work, and has established expert working groups to address the challenges and opportunities in a number of sectors. The report of the Agri-Tech Expert Working Group (AEWG) has been much-anticipated and was released by the Minister on 10 September 2021. The full report may be accessed at: Agri-Tech Expert Working Group (

The AEWG’s report has been released during the consultation period of the Regional Telecommunications Review which has been tasked to report to Government by the end of the year.

The focus on the agriculture sector and on regional and rural telecommunications is important, and comes at a time when Australians are migrating to rural and regional areas as never before.

TelSoc is very pleased that the Chair of ABAC, Deena Shiff, and the co-convenors of the AEWG, Peter Waters and Andrea Koch, have agreed to present the Agri-Tech report as one in a series of TelSoc forums on broadband challenges and opportunities, and to engage in discussion on the important issues involved with TelSoc members and guests.



Jim Holmes, President, TelSoc and member of the TelSoc Broadband Futures Group



Deena Shiff, Chair of ABAC: Deena will outline ABAC’s charter and work to date on a number of fronts, including in eHealth and other sectors, as well as introduce the work on the AgriTech sector.

Peter Waters and Andrea Koch, Co-Convenors of the AgriTech Expert Working Group: Peter and Andrea will present the report and its key findings.


This will be followed by a discussion and question and answer session, including consideration of next steps and anticipated developments.

Date and Time

Thu, 21 Oct 2021

12:00 - 13:45 AEDT


Online Event Only
Melbourne VIC 3000


Deena Shiff

Deena Shiff, Chair, Australian Broadband Advisory Council

Deena Shiff was a senior executive in the telecommunications industry for over twenty-five years. As Group Managing Director at Telstra, she ran Telstra Wholesale, set up and managed Telstra Business and established Telstra’s corporate venture capital arm, Telstra Ventures.

In her legal career, Deena has acted as government adviser, in-house Counsel and as a Partner at law firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques.

Deena is a full time non executive director with a portfolio that has focussed largely on growth stage technology companies listed on the ASX. She is currently Chairman of the Supervisory Board of e-commerce company, Marley Spoon AG (ASX: MMM) and is a non executive director on the boards of AI services company, Appen (ASX: APX) and health software companies, Pro Medicus (ASX: PME) and Genie Solutions Pty Ltd. She is also on the board of Opera Australia.

In 2015, Deena chaired the Australian Government’s Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee. She has also served on the NSW Government Digital Economy Task Force.

Peter Waters

Peter Waters, Consultant, Gilbert + Tobin

Peter is a telecommunications and competition lawyer who is particularly well known and respected in telecommunications industry circles. He was a partner in Gilbert + Tobin for over 15 years and in recent times is a Consultant to that firm. He is a primary producer in Northern NSW. He is a director of the Asylum Seeker Centre and of the Pride Foundation of Australia. His degrees were earned at the ANU and Harvard.

Andrea Koch

Andrea Koch, Principal, Agtech

Andrea is Owner and Principal Consultant at Agtech Ideation Pty Ltd, a firm offering strategy, marketing and product development services to the sector. Andrea is a Board Director of the National Farmers Federation, since 2017. Andrea also has a background in communications, working with Optus in its early days. She was responsible for the development and implementation of the Optus HFC telephony service and the 1300 product.

Presentation Media

Event Media: