none

PUSH FOR SPACE AGENCY CONTINUES

22-08-2017
by 
in 

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill and ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr have signed a 'Memorandum of Understanding' to work together towards the creation of a Canberra-based space agency with a prominent presence in Adelaide.

The five-year agreement recognises the need to utilise the various strengths and capabilities found in all states and territories to successfully grow Australia’s space sector.

“The space sector has enormous growth potential and is a perfect fit for South Australia, given our national leadership in other high-tech industries including defence, renewable energy, IT and advanced manufacturing,” Weatherill said.

“Just like those industries, the space sector will provide opportunities for traditional manufacturers to transition to a high-tech, high growth sector.”

The Australian space sector currently produces annual revenues of up to $4 billion and employs between 9,500 and 11,500 people from its 0.8 per cent share of the global space economy, which is estimated to be worth $420 billion.

The Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA) launched a White Paper in March calling on the Australian Government to establish a national space agency.

The Federal Government announced last month it was forming a committee to review the need for a Space Agency but space industry experts were hoping the agency would be announced during the upcoming 68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide in September.

More than 3500 delegates from around the world will attend the conference, including space entrepreneur Elon Musk.

Space Industry Association of Australia secretary Peter Nikoloff said the long process of attracting the IAC to Australia had already lifted the profile of space within government.

“The state government in South Australia is certainly pushing hard. They see the economy in South Australia as part of the hi-tech economy and space has a role to play in that,” he said.

South Australia has a long history in the space industry, which started when the Woomera Test Range was established 70 years ago in 1947 about 450km north of Adelaide.

The outback range is still used and last year launched an experimental rocket flight as part of a joint research program, HIFiRE (Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation Program).

In October 2016, South Australia and the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) agreed to jointly pursue space-related industries.

There are at least 60 South Australian organisations with space-related expertise and 11 local space start-ups, including Myriota, Fleet Space Technologies, Inovor Technologies and Neumann Space.

Neumann Space founder Patrick Neumann said South Australia could already have its own space agency.

“Just like NASA, who don’t actually build any space shuttles and actually put that job out to tender, South Australia can do that. We have Lockheed Martin, BAE and now Boeing,” he said.

“What we need is leadership, that authoritative body to string it all together.

“Adelaide’s manufacturing capabilities also have it best placed to house the agency as opposed to other cities and the operational headquarters can run out here with the institutional headquarters better suited for Canberra.”

Despite having a long history in the industry, Australia remains one of the few OECD nations without a national space program or agency.

South Australia and the ACT presented a joint position paper at this month’s Council of Australian Government’s Industry and Skills Council (CISC) to further pressure the Australian Government to establish a Space Agency.

South Australian Defence Industries Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith said South Australia was leading the way in the development of Australia’s space economy.

“Our vision is to position South Australia as a vibrant hub for future space activity and industry development,” he said.

Related news & editorials

  1. 18.06.2018
    18.06.2018
    by      In
    Queensland-based electronics design and manufacturing company, Hetech, is collaborating with selected local engineering companies to increase its design capacity of up to 20 engineers.
    With defence projects such as the LAND400: Phase 2 arriving in Queensland, collaboration between local engineers... Read More
  2. 15.06.2018
    15.06.2018
    by      In
    The NRMA has chosen Australian-made electric vehicle chargers from Brisbane-based Tritium to equip its $10 million network planned for New South Wales and the ACT. The network, which will be the largest in Australia, will comprise 40-plus charging stations that will be free to use for NRMA members... Read More
  3. 14.06.2018
    14.06.2018
    by      In
    Australia’s Collins Class submarine fleet is set to receive significant sonar upgrades this year in a project led by Raytheon Australia and Thales Australia.
    In announcing the commencement of the upgrade programme, Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said that as the... Read More
  4. 14.06.2018
    14.06.2018
    by      In
    Australian-founded Ainsworth Game Technology has expanded globally since being established in 1995, today representing the fifth-largest gaming manufacturer in the USA. The company boasts a new state-of-the-art US$40 million facility in Las Vegas, which produces thousands of gaming machines per... Read More