Queensland space launch site one step closer to lift off
Published Tuesday, 28 July, 2020 at 01:30 PM
Minister for State Development, Tourism and Innovation
The Honourable Kate Jones
Queensland is one step closer to cementing its place as an Australasian 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.
Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the Palaszczuk Government was serious about its investment into the space industry, highlighting it as a vital part to the state’s economic recovery efforts.
“This is a major step towards delivering a rocket launch site at Abbot Point,” Ms Gilbert said.
“We’re investing in this industry because it has huge capacity to create jobs for locals and pump millions of dollars back into our economy.
“To rebuild our economy and create jobs, we must work with the private sector to develop new industries. This is a perfect example.
“I’m delighted organisations in the region have expressed interest in the development of a launch site at Abbot Point.
“These next steps will involve a detailed technical and due diligence on the proposed site to confirm the location is suitable for a space launch facility.
“If the findings are positive, the next stages include market sounding and wider public consultation.
“There will be targeted consultation with key stakeholders as part of this first stage due diligence process.
“This will include the Whitsunday Regional Council, the traditional owners, local landholders as well as potential users of the site and the regulatory bodies.”
State Development Minister Kate Jones said 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 2000 jobs and generates $760 million in annual revenue for Queensland businesses,” Ms Jones said.
“We want to grow these numbers and ensure that local businesses get a piece of the action.
“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 6000 space industry jobs by 2036.
“Space is a multi-trillion-dollar global industry. But launch sites are few and far between.
“Having a launch site would give us a huge point of difference and would enable us to bring more global players here to Queensland.
“This is about creating jobs for locals and opportunities for local companies at a time they need it most.
“We’ve said very clearly through our Industry Attraction Fund that we want to do business with companies that want to establish themselves in Queensland and create local jobs.
“Today’s announcement could potentially help us to lure more of these businesses to Queensland in the future.”
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.
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.
Air Vice-Marshal Neil Hart AM (ret.), Queensland’s Strategic Defence Advisor 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,” Air Vice Marshal Hart said.
“This could be an awe-inspiring opportunity for the region and Queensland, bringing more jobs and new career paths for the workforce.”
Read more about the Queensland Government’s $8 million Queensland Space Industry Strategy 2020-2025 announced earlier this year.
Queensland’s plan for economic recovery: Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs, can be viewed here.
Media contact: Jack Harbour 0419 620 447