Adelaide wins the race to host the Australian Space Agency

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South Australia has won the bid to host the Australian Space Agency, which will oversee the nation’s burgeoning space industry.

The agency will be established at the old Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) site, now known as Lot 14, by mid-2019 and will initially employ 20 full-time equivalent staff.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement in Adelaide today (Wednesday, December 12) and says SA is a key hub for innovation and the technology industry, making it an ideal home for the new agency.

“Australia’s space industry is set to hit new heights,” he says.

“This agency is going to open doors for local businesses and Australian access to the US$345 billion global space industry.

“Our government’s $41 million investment into the agency will act as a launching pad to triple Australia’s space economy to $12 billion and create up to 20,000 jobs by 2030.

“This agency is part of our plan for a stronger economy for SA and the country which is about delivering long-term, high-wage, high-skills jobs.”

SA Premier Steven Marshall says long-term investment in Adelaide and its space sector will drive entrepreneurship and innovation, and enhance the city’s liveability.

“SA is the ideal location for the Australian Space Agency with a range of local space industry businesses already established here as well as a rapidly growing defence industry sector,” he says.

“Establishing the headquarters of the Australian Space Agency in SA will launch our space and defence sectors to the next level.”

SA was up against strong competition from other states, with Adelaide astronaut Andy Thomas throwing his support behind SA’s bid to host the national space headquarters.

Italian aerospace engineer Flavia Tata Nardini runs Fleet Space Technologies from SA.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews says Adelaide put forward the strongest case and is already home to more than 60 organisations and 800 employees in the space sector.

A number of space start-ups including Fleet Space Technologies and nano-satellites startup, Myriota, are based in SA.

The southern state also has a longstanding contribution to the nation’s space journey, with Australia’s first satellite launching from Woomera in the Far North in 1967.

The Australian Space Agency will be key to the new Adelaide City Deal, a scheme that aims to turbo charge the city’s economy and drive long-term investment.

Aside from the space agency, Lot 14 is also expected to include a start-up precinct and growth hub, an international centre for tourism, hospitality and food services, and a national Aboriginal art gallery.

The old RAH closed in September 2017 and has since undergone progressive demolition. The new $2.4 billion hospital is located further west along North Terrace.

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