Wednesday, 12 December 2018
The Western Australian government has missed a multi-generational opportunity to lead Australia’s international engagement in space, by not putting forward a detailed proposal to have the Australian Space Agency headquartered in WA.
WA Liberal Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds said whilst the State Government had commissioned a report into space capability in WA and provided a submission, it was not a proposal for the Headquarters to be based in WA.
In July this year the Federal Government made it clear that the new Space Agency Headquarters, initially based in the ACT, would move to a new home in another state or territory after six months.
“I am very disappointed for WA that we have missed out on this significant opportunity, but sadly I am not surprised,” Senator Reynolds said.
“The State government did not even put up a fight for the Agency Headquarters.
Senator Reynolds said South Australia won the process fair and square.
“In July 2018, South Australia had already proposed a site for the new space agency, and indicated it would be ready for occupation by the Space Agency within six months.
“In addition they committed around $77 million in renovating the former Royal Adelaide Hospital, encouraging new tenants, establishing a space industry commercialisation fund and a space innovation fund.
“Not only did South Australia have a proposal, they also had money and policy to support it.
“In contrast, the WA State Government committed $6 million of unbudgeted funding and requested $9 million in additional funding from the Commonwealth.”
Senator Reynolds looks forward to continuing to work with space industry stakeholders in Western Australia to ensure this critical new sector continues to grow despite the State Governments inaction.