The South Australian State Government is advocating for the establishment of an Australian space agency which would be headquartered in Canberra, but would have its operational base in Adelaide.
Defence Industries Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith has urged the Federal Government to establish a national space agency as soon as possible, adding that South Australia ‘will consider working with other states’ to lead the charge if the Government fails to act in due time.
“The creation of an Australian Space Agency with an operational centre in Adelaide will provide a number of benefits for South Australians,” the Minister said.
“Similar to the defence industry, the space sector will deliver opportunities for manufacturers to transition to a high technology, high growth sector.”
In what he described as ‘the first step’ towards achieving this goal, Mr Hamilton-Smith announced a new space studies program with $50,000 in scholarships to the University of South Australia’s highly-regarded International Space University’s (ISU) Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program.
According to the Minister, the new scholarships will see five students receive $10,000 to participate in the 2018 Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program, which will be held in Adelaide from 25-29 September 2017.
“The State Government remains committed to providing opportunities that offer cutting edge STEM teaching and learning. There is good reason to believe that over the next 20 years in Australia and South Australia we will witness the successful growth to maturity of the government/industry initiative which is only just beginning,” Mr Hamilton-Smith added.
“The scholarships for the Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program will provide a terrific stepping stone for five South Australians to get a foot in the door in the lucrative space industry.”