The Queensland government is one step closer to cementing its position as a regional leader in space launch technologies, with targeted consultation soon to begin on the proposal for an orbital rocket launch site near Abbot Point, North Queensland.
The Abbot Point State Development Area was identified by an advisory team led by PwC Australia working with government as a potential location to develop an orbital rocket launch site in Queensland based on a range of technical, operational, environmental and infrastructure-related considerations.
Queensland minister for state development Kate Jones explained that the government was delivering on its Queensland Space Industry Strategy commitment to conduct a business case for a launch facility in Queensland.
“Our space industry already supports more than 2,000 jobs and generates $760 million in annual revenue for Queensland businesses. We want to grow these numbers and ensure that local businesses get a piece of the action,” Minister Jones said.
Expanding on this, Minister Jones added, “The proposal for a launch site at Abbot Point has the ability to launch the industry forward and contribute to the goal of up to 6,000 space industry jobs by 2036. Having a launch site would give us a huge point of difference and would enable us to bring more global players here to Queensland.”
A Deloitte Access Economics report found that a launch site and space-related infrastructure would be catalytic for the space industry, providing more research, development and market opportunities for Queensland.
Air Vice-Marshal (Ret’d) Neil Hart AM, Queensland’s strategic defence adviser for aerospace, said Queensland companies and its research sector are leading the nation in space launch vehicle development.
“Queensland’s space industry has been calling for space launch infrastructure here in Queensland to take it to lift-off and firm up Australia’s sovereign capability. This could be an awe-inspiring opportunity for the region and Queensland, bringing more jobs and new career paths for the workforce,” Hart explained.
The Queensland government’s designs for the Abbot Point launch site are a critical part of the government’s $8 million Queensland Space Industry Strategy 2020-2025.
The Queensland Space Industry Strategy 2020-2025 strategy identifies a bold vision, namely, “By 2025, Queensland’s space industry will be recognised as a leading centre in Australasia for launch activities, ground systems, Earth observation, niche manufacturing, robotics and automation for space.”
The Queensland Aerospace 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan (the Aerospace Roadmap) – in support of the $755 million Advance Queensland initiative – sets out actions to leverage Queensland’s well-established aerospace sector to accelerate the state’s fast-growing space industry.
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