The South Australian Government has thrown its support behind the creation of a new Australian Space Agency, providing an unprecedented opportunity for South Australia to further establish its presence in the hi-tech world of space.

Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith said South Australia is a strong advocate for the growth and development of the space economy.

Last month the Space Industry Association of Australia released its White Paper, ‘Advancing Australia in Space’ to the Federal Minister for Industry Innovation and Science, calling for the Australian Government to commit to a permanent national space program and establish an Australian Space Agency.

Last week, Cabinet considered the White Paper and agreed to advocate for the establishment of an Australian Space Agency based in Canberra, with South Australia as its operational centre.

Background

South Australia is working to establish itself as a hub for space industry research and development. At least 60 local organisations with space-related expertise, or the potential to apply current expertise to the space value chain, have been identified in the state.

From 25-29 September 2017, Adelaide will host the International Astronautical Congress, set to attract around 4000 international and local delegates, including the world’s leading space agencies, making it one of the largest conferences ever held in the city and set to inject around $20 million into the local economy.

Quotes attributable to Defence Industries Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith

The creation of an Australian Space Agency with an operational centre in Adelaide will provide a number of benefits for South Australians. Similar to the defence industry, the space sector will deliver opportunities for manufacturers to transition to a high technology, high growth sector.

South Australian universities and their students will benefit from increased international R&D partnerships and research opportunities with flow through to STEM activities in our secondary schools. The space industry will provide high value jobs for young South Australians.

The establishment of an Australian Space Agency is very topical for us as we lead into the world’s largest astronautical congress which is happening here in Adelaide in September 2017.

Australian space activity currently accounts for less than one per cent of the global US$323 billion industry. Increasing the focus on the space sector with the establishment of a national agency will be a fantastic way to increase Australia’s share and grow our economy.