National

Space agency HQ will diversify economy-WA

By AAP Newswire

Basing the new national space agency in Western Australia would help diversify its resources-heavy economy and allow the federal government to piggyback the existing space industry, the state government says.

WA Science Minister Dave Kelly on Monday released a report outlining the case for the federal agency to be based in the west.

The state's geographic advantages and the already thriving space industry make WA an intelligent choice, according to the ACIL Allen report.

Minister Kelly said the move west would not only generate jobs, it would allow the national space agency to collaborate with existing projects already in WA.

"Growing the space industry in WA will create local jobs, provide more opportunities for our local businesses and help diversify the WA economy," he said in a statement on Monday.

"The Federal Government also has the perfect opportunity to launch the Australian Space Agency right here right now in WA, by partnering with the European Space Agency who want to build a second deep-space antenna in New Norcia."

The report highlights WA's ideal location and latitude and the state's ongoing support of Australia's contribution to the global coverage of space assets, including the tracking of launches.

WA is already home to the Australian arm of the global Square Kilometre Array radio telescope project and has defence space facilities in the state's north.

The resources industry, along with the 74 international and Australian companies already operating in space and space-related services in WA would assist in the state's capability to host the agency, the report concluded.

The new national space agency was announced in the federal government's May Budget.