The Queensland state government has accepted or accepted in principle all 15 recommendations of the State Development, Natural Resources and Agricultural Industry Development Committee’s report into job creation opportunities in the space industry.
Today, the space industry provides 2000 full-time positions and $760 million to Queensland’s economy.
The report recommends that the Queensland government find launch sites and encourage launch vehicles to be developed in Queensland. The report notes that the success of these ground stations depends upon internet connectivity, investment in education and training and incentives for businesses to locate in Queensland.
The report also identified more than 50 existing organisations in Queensland that have capabilities valuable for the space industry. The organisations include earth observation, robotics and automation, data analytics and ground systems businesses.
Neil Hart, Queensland’s strategic defence advisor for aerospace, said that the state has the foundations for a thriving space sector.
“Key enablers for the space industry include advanced manufacturing capabilities, a healthy R&D and innovation start-up ecosystem and solid base of people with STEM skills,” said Hart.
The Queensland government will now work towards finding sites that are suitable for space infrastructure and collaborate with the federal government to market these launch sites towards space companies.
“The next step will be a fully-fledged strategy for growing Queensland’s space industry,” said Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick.
“The strategy will build on the state’s competitive strengths as well as the significant overlaps these have with the Australian Space Agency’s forward investment plans in earth observation, robotics and automation, communication technologies and access to space,” said Dick.
The University of Southern Queensland welcomed the government’s acceptance of the 15 recommendations, outlining that the institution’s proposed static rocket testing site in Toowoomba will enable space enterprises to be based in Queensland.
“Our proposed static rocket testing site will catalyse local innovation and attract researchers to Queensland, building on the international interest generated by other unique facilities such as our Mount Kent Observatory,” said the university’s vice-chancellor professor Geraldine Mackenzie.