The Australian Space Agency will be headquartered in Adelaide, the federal government announced today.
“This agency is going to open doors for local businesses and Australian access to the US$345 billion global space industry,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement.
“Our government’s $41 million investment into the agency will act as a launching pad to triple Australia’s space economy to $12 billion and create up to 20,000 jobs by 2030.
“This agency is part of our plan for a stronger economy for South Australia and the country which is about delivering long-term, high-wage, high-skills jobs.”
The agency will be based Lot Fourteen at the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site.
As part of its effort to entice the agency to the state’s capital, the South Australian government in its budget, handed down in September, set aside funding to develop the ‘Australian Space Innovation Precinct’ at Lot Fourteen.
South Australia allocated $200,000 in 2018-19 and a further $356,000 a year over three years from 2019-20 to develop the precinct.
This year’s budget included $26 million to establish the agency, as well as $15 million for a grants program from 2019-20. The International Space Investment project will provide support to “strategic space projects”.
Former CSIRO chief executive Dr Megan Clark has been given the top job at the new agency. (Clark led the government’s review of the domestic space industry sector.)
“South Australia is the ideal location for the Australian Space Agency with a range of local space industry businesses already established here as well as a rapidly growing defence industry sector,” said South Australian Premier Steven Marshall
“Establishing the headquarters of the Australian Space Agency in South Australia will launch our space and defence sectors to the next level.”
The state is already home to more than 60 organisations and 800 employees in the space sector, according to federal industry, science and technology minister Karen Andrews.
The new agency will be based in SA’s capital by mid-2019. It is expected to employ 20 full-time equivalent staff in Adelaide.