Joint media statement - Space agency and WA reach new heights

by WA Government News | Jul 10, 2019

Western Australia will play a key role in the Australian Space Agency's efforts to triple the size of the nation's space industry, with a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today signed between Federal Science Minister Karen Andrews and WA Science Minister Dave Kelly. 

The MoU secures a $6 million investment from the Morrison Government in Western Australia's space capabilities, which will encourage partnerships and engagement with the global space ecosystem to drive economic growth in WA and nationally.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the agreement was centred on supporting WA's space sector to create jobs, diversify the economy and boost innovation.

"This MoU outlines key areas where the Australian Space Agency can work with WA to support business and academia," Minister Andrews said.

"This agreement will leverage WA's growing space capabilities in areas such as adopting the robotics and automation capabilities in the resources sector for use in space.

"Every state in Australia has an important role to play, as we aim to triple the size of the Australian space sector to $12 billion and create another 20,000 jobs by 2030.

The Morrison Government's investment in WA's space sector is in two parts:

  • $4.5 million towards a robotics and artificial intelligence mission control facility, which will advance the remote operation of autonomous and robotic systems in space.
  • $1.5 million to support space data analysis facilities, which will support analysis of satellite data for areas such as mining, agriculture, emergency services and maritime surveillance, and will build capability in data analysis for space missions.  

The projects will be delivered in collaboration with the Western Australian Government. The McGowan Government has allocated $2 million for WA's partnership with the ASA and further funding will be considered in future budgets.  

WA Minister Dave Kelly says the signing of this MoU will unlock national and international opportunities for WA businesses and academia to grow the State's space industry. 

"The robotics and artificial intelligence mission control facility will be a key component in the development of the nation's capability to advance robotic and autonomous activities in space. WA is well placed to play a leading role in this endeavour, building on our world-leading industry expertise in remote operations," Minister Kelly said.

"The support to access and analyse space-sourced data will provide benefit to WA across a range of sectors, and will build capability that could lead to a greater role for WA in the analysis of deep space mission data.

"It's great to see our submission to the ASA in August 2018 showing real dividends for the WA space sector."

The Head of the Australian Space Agency, Dr Megan Clark AC also welcomed the signing of today's agreement with the WA Government. 

"WA hosts significant civil and defence space infrastructure including the recently opened Airbus Zephyr flight base, has existing collaboration with NASA and the European Space Agency, and will support the Agency's role in strengthening Australia's relationship with these and other international space agencies," Dr Clark said.

The Coalition Government established the Australian Space Agency last year and is investing $73.2 million as part of our broader plan to boost the economy and help create a further 1.25 million jobs in the next five years.

Science Minister's office - 6552 6100

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