Report says WA ready for space agency

11/06/2018 - 14:38

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

The state government has today released a report outlining the key advantages to setting up a new national space agency in Western Australia, but the opposition says more needs to be done to secure federal support.

Dave Kelly says WA is the perfect fit for the space agency.

The state government has today released a report outlining the key advantages to setting up a new national space agency in Western Australia, but the opposition says more needs to be done to secure federal support.

The report, which was undertaken by ACIL Allen Consulting and commissioned by a steering group chaired by WA chief scientist Peter Klinken, says the state is ideally positioned for a space agency and that it would bring significant benefit to key industries including oil and gas, mining and agriculture.

“WA’s Southern Hemisphere location and longitude are ideal for space situational awareness and facilities that contribute to global coverage of space assets, including tracking of launches,” the report says.

“These geographic advantages have been reinforced by investments in communications and computational infrastructure and access to technical expertise.

“They create significant opportunities for space situational awareness, optical communications, astronomy, space operations and defence space applications.

“WA also hosts capabilities in development and use of space-derived applications.

“Opportunities for competitive advantage lie in agriculture, mining, offshore oil and gas, remote operations and robotics.

“The greatest potential for economic growth and jobs is likely to be found in these areas.”

In light of the positive report, Science and Innovation Minister Dave Kelly said WA was the perfect fit for the space agency.

“The federal government also has the perfect opportunity to launch the Australian Space Agency right here right now in WA, by partnering with the European Space Agency who want to build a second deep-space antenna in New Norcia,” he said.

“Growing the space industry in WA will create local jobs, provide more opportunities for our local businesses and help diversify the WA economy.”

However, opposition leader Mike Nahan said the report would be insufficient to beat other states in the race to become the centre of the nation’s space industry.

“The McGowan government is not doing enough to give WA the best shot at becoming home to the national space agency and a space research, development and industry hub,” he said.

“Other states, including New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia are ready at the start line with proposals and funding commitments while the McGowan government is doing nothing more than saying we have the capacity.

“It is time for the WA government to work with our universities and put forward a joint vision for a space industry in WA that includes investment in bricks and mortar.”

Mr Kelly and Mr Klinken will be involved in an industry roundtable in July, with a decision on the location expected later this year.  

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options