GRANT Sutton brings up a map on his computer.
Highlighted in purple are the areas in which the NBN has been rolled out, and is available.
But Mr Sutton is looking beyond the purple patches, to the parts in between.
The places where people had just missed out on the fixed wireless rollout to date.
As an IT worker, Mr Sutton gained an understanding of how many people were on the fringes of the NBN rollout.
“I was going up to farms and seeing this problem,” the AgCloud co-founder said.
At the Farm Security and Farmers Health Expo in Bendigo on Thursday, Mr Sutton displayed a system designed to expand the reach of those purple patches.
His was one of a number stalls at the exhibition offering high-tech solutions to issues troubling farmers.
Others were familiar devices, such as locks.
“We get a lot of interest,” Kyle Bevans, of Bendigo Locksmiths, said.
People had approached him for advice about enhancing the security on their properties, particularly in light of a number of break-ins in the Bendigo area.
The company has been involved in the expo since it started, last year.
Also returning was Alistair Harkness, of Federation University.
He emphasised the importance of reporting farm crime and agricultural offences to authorities.
“When it comes to dealing with crime, prevention is always better than cure,” Dr Harkness said.
“However, if a crime does occur there are mechanisms that will kick in and which we need to be supportive of, as members of the community, to assist that process.”
He said a NSW-based study found that up to half of farm crimes were not reported to police.
“Similar results have been seen in Victoria, too,” the researcher said.
If crimes were not being reported, Dr Harkness said authorities were less able to reduce the burden of offending.
He said farm crime adversely impacted the economy, communities, and crimes in urban environments.
While some stallholders focused on properties and assets, others were there to emphasise the value of the human resources.
In a presentation, WorkSafe Victoria’s Tarnya Dalla highlighted the disproportionate number of workplace fatalities in the farming community.
Though farmers make up 3 per cent of the workforce, they account for about 30 per cent of deaths at work.
“The most important thing about safety is having communication on the farm,” Ms Dalla told attendees.
The expo continues on Friday at Bendigo Stadium from 9am – 3pm.