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Nationals WA: Labor Need to Step Up on Space Science

Nationals WA spokesperson for science Hon Colin de Grussa MLC called on the Minister for Science to make sure WA was putting its best foot forward to share in the scientific and economic opportunities from the newly announced Australian Space Agency.

South Australia, the ACT and the Northern Territory have signed a five year agreement to work together to offer their assets and capabilities to support the burgeoning space industry.

Mr de Grussa said that the Labor Government should be doing more to promote WA as the best place for the national space agency to be located.

“It looks like it’s a fait accompli that SA, the NT and the ACT will share the spoils, but I urge Minister Kelly and his government to do more to promote WA as the preferred location for the space agency,” Mr de Grussa said.

“The combination of good sky visibility, radio quietness, upper atmosphere stability and favourable climate make WA the ideal state for the nation to make a real foray into the space science industry.”

WA is already home to the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, which offers the CSIRO a fully-equipped telescope site 315 kilometres north of Geraldton.

“I’m calling on the Minister to step up and pressure the Federal Government to seriously consider WA as the preferred location for the space agency, before WA loses out yet again.

“The opportunity is there for WA to drive the development of Australia’s space industry, and create thousands of jobs in the process.”

The space agency will focus on satellite technology and will support innovation, defence, telecommunications and the environment.