The Australian space industry is being rocketed to new heights with the federal Government investing $20 million in a job-creating satellite manufacturing hub in South Australia that is expected to accelerate the sector’s growth.
As a result South Australia will become the largest manufacturer of satellites in Australia Meanwhile globally, the space sector is expected to grow from US$350 billion to US$1 trillion by 2040.
The grant funding will underwrite Fleet Space Technologies’ Australian Space Manufacturing Hub under the Collaboration Stream of the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative – to be located at Australian Space Park at Adelaide Airport.
The South Australian Government is also contributing $20 million towards the $66 million project which is expected to create 221 local jobs, as well as more than 1000 others indirectly.
Supplement industry investment
The Federal and State funding will supplement industry investment into the Australian Space Park by Fleet Space Technologies, AT Space, Alauda and Q-CTRL.The purpose-built facility will drive collaboration between Australia’s local space manufacturers to build innovative satellites and rockets.
It’s believed that the rapid pace of commercialisation in space activities presents an immense opportunity for Australia.
Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Modern Manufacturing Initiative funding is about creating more opportunities to grow our local space industry, unlocking further investment and delivering the skilled jobs we need now and for the future.
“Space technologies are drawn on every day by Australians when using navigation systems in their cars and smartphones, by farmers to monitor the health of their crops and by emergency workers to plan and respond to bushfires,” Taylor said.
“This is a huge opportunity for Australia. Our space businesses are already globally-recognised but these investments are about driving their potential to scale up and create more high-value jobs for Australians. Not only will this investment in South Australia help grow our space sector, it will foster the next generation of space manufacturers and researchers.”
Minister for Defence Industry and for Science and Technology Melissa Price said this investment will help future-proof the space sector by making it more self-sufficient.
“This project will lock in Australia’s ability to deliver along the entire space supply chain,” Price explained. “From research and design through to manufacture and operation, Australia’s credentials as a leading space nation are going to be significantly strengthened by this investment.”
Minister for Finance and Senator for South Australia Simon Birmingham said this high-tech manufacturing hub would take South Australia’s space sector to a completely new level.
“This is further reinforcement that South Australia really is the space state,” Birmingham said. “Following private and Marshall Government commitments, our Government’s $20 million investment is the final piece of the puzzle to get this manufacturing hub off the ground and will unlock at least another 1000 space related jobs.
“This project is all about creating real manufacturing jobs. We’ve already secured new manufacturing jobs this week in one of the fastest growing sectors of food production and now we’re delivering new manufacturing jobs in making satellites here in SA.”
Premier Steven Marshall thanked the Federal Government for yet again confirming South Australia as the country’s space state, saying the South Australian Space Industry has never had a stronger future.
“The space sector is good for business and good for jobs,” Marshall stated.
“Not even the sky's the limit when it comes to opening new opportunities for our kids and grandkids in the Space Industry. This election is all about building a stronger future and opening new opportunities for South Australians – and the space sector does both.
1600 space jobs
According to Marshall, South Australia is “unequivocally” the Space State – we have already created nearly 1600 space jobs in the state and today’s announcement is going to see that number take off. “We are the home of the Space Discovery Centre, Mission Control, the Australian Space Agency, the Australian Space Park and more than 90 space-related companies are already based right here in SA.
“This sector is going gangbusters and it’s going to mean our young South Australians can have a rewarding career in the space sector right here without having to move interstate or overseas,” he said.
Working with a range of partners, Fleet Space Technologies will help local companies in neighbouring industries like defence, communications and precision engineering enter the space supply chain and harness local robotics and automation expertise.
This work will further build capability for use in missions to the Moon and beyond, as well as refining technologies that can help us here on earth, such as agricultural management through earth observation.
The federal Government has committed more than $850 million to the civil space sector since establishing the Australian Space Agency in 2018. It’s part of the Government’s mission to triple the size of the local sector by 2030 to $12 billion and create an extra 20,000 new jobs.