The State Government will pitch WA as the base for the Australian Space Agency, as the McGowan Government ramps up calls for the agency to be based in Perth.
Science, Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly will meet with head of the Australian Space Agency Dr Megan Clark on Thursday to bolster WA’s position as the ideal location for the agency and opportunities in science and astronomy.
“Everyone knows WA has the geography, capability and local expertise to have a thriving space industry,” Mr Kelly said.
“We have identified new opportunities for WA in the Australian Space Agency.”
The government has pointed to a report by ACIL Allen into space industry capability in WA that indicated the WA would be an ideal home for the agency.
The report found that WA had geographic advantages and expertise required to have a thriving space industry and boost science innovation.
“Earlier this month, the State Government held an Industry Roundtable to further solidify WA’s position as the perfect home for the Australian Space Agency,” Mr Kelly said.
“Along with a WA-headquartered national space agency, there is an opportunity for a locally-based mission control centre and the McGowan Government is prepared to co-fund a new robotics and artificial intelligence innovation hub.”
WA has been involved in the space industry for nearly 60 years, with currently 74 international and Australian companies in WA operating in space and space-related services.
It has been involved in projects including the European Space Agency’s ground station in New Norcia, a range of commercial space communications stations, the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research.
Mr Kelly believed there was an opportunity to boost WA’s jobs market to diversify the economy.
WA Chief Scientist Professor Peter Klinken said WA is a strong candidate for the agency.
“Following up on the ACIL Allen report and the recent industry meetings, WA is incredibly well positioned to be the headquarters of the Australian Space Agency,” Professor Klinken said.
“It has been a pleasure working closely with Dr Megan Clark and I look forward to continuing to work closely with her to see how Western Australia can contribute to the development of the Australian Space Agency.”