Vic gov to push Victoria closer to space, boost jobs

The Victorian state government is stepping up its campaign for Victoria to play a key role in the new Australian Space Agency, which the state government says could grow their already thriving space industry – creating jobs and boosting their economy.

According to the Victorian premier’s website media statement, Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll will meet with Minister for Jobs and Innovation Michaelia Cash in Canberra to spruik Victoria’s space industry credentials.

“Victoria already has the experience and knowhow to help Australia’s space industry grow and create thousands of new jobs. If the Australian Space Agency is to succeed, we need a truly national approach. Victoria has the proven expertise in design and manufacturing – it makes sense for us to be a key player in the new agency. There is more to the space agency than just its physical home – Victoria is the perfect location to design, manufacture and analyse data from satellites,” Carroll said.

The state government says that it has the experience and knowhow to make sure the new agency thrives. It says that with one in five Australian space-related science and technology companies based there, Victoria is well positioned to coordinate national and international collaboration on space and attract global investment.

Some of the world’s biggest names in aerospace – including Lockheed Martin, Thales, Boeing and BAE Systems – carry out aerospace research, development and manufacturing is currently in Victoria.

Lockheed Martin established its first multi-disciplinary research facility outside the United States, STELarLab, in Melbourne and the Bureau of Meteorology, the biggest user of space technology in Australia, is based there.

The state’s research and development capabilities in this sector are “world class” according to the press report. It pointed out that Swinburne has partnered with the California Institute of Technology which gives Swinburne unique access to the Keck Observatory in Hawaii. In addition, La Trobe University has a $20 million partnership with the German Space Agency to develop and design a super-sharp-image camera to fly on the International Space Station – one of Australia’s largest civilian space hardware development projects.

The global space industry is forecasted to be worth more than $1 trillion by 2040 and the state government says that the state of Victoria can help boost Australia’s share of this market to tens of billions of dollars, potentially creating 20,000 jobs across the country.

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