Western Australia reaches for the stars with proposed Australian Space Agency
Western Australia (WA) will likely be home to Australia’s first space agency. WA is expected to beat Victoria for the bid because of its geographical location and growth opportunities.
The Australian Space Agency will rival international space pioneers such as NASA and ESA in a global space economy worth over AU $453 billion. Specialising in communications technologies, satellite data, Space Situational Awareness and debris monitoring, artificial intelligence, robotics and big data analytics, this Australia-first has the potential to create 20,000 local business and job opportunities and further diversify the WA economy.
According to the ACIL Allen report, “Industries such as services (predominantly financial), construction, mining, transport, manufacturing and agriculture are likely to continue to benefit from and add to space industry capability.”
Due to its geographical placement and advanced computational infrastructure, WA has the capability and local expertise to be a real contender in a thriving space industry. The ACIL Allen report goes on to mention, “Western Australia’s southern hemisphere location and latitude were ideal for space situational awareness and networks that required global coverage of space assets [furthermore], Australia has a strong education system with a good research and development base in space technologies.” Thus, making WA and ideal platform for Australia’s growing cosmological endeavours.
Australia currently occupies only 0.8% of the global space economy despite having nearly 60 years experience and 74 international and Australian space related services currently operating out of WA. However, with the addition of the Australian Space Agency, Australia is predicted to grow its share in the global space economy threefold by 2030.
The Australian Federal government has pledged $26 million towards the creation and management of the new national space agency over the first four years of operation.
Science and Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly says, “I will now work with WA’s Chief Scientist to lead an Industry Roundtable in July to further promote WA’s position as the perfect home for the Australian Space Agency.”
Chief Scientist Professor Peter Klinkensays he is, “delighted that the review of WA’s space industry highlighted the same sort of capabilities and opportunities that the Federal Government’s own space industry capability review highlighted.”
“I look forward to working closely with Dr Megan Clark, the interim Head of the new Australian Space Agency.”