Federal Labor has promised to invest $20 million to establish a Jerrabomberra Space Industry Cluster which would create up to 50 jobs in a local space industry hub, if elected.
Labor said the money, which will be delivered through the Australian Space Agency over the next four years, will be a further investment into a “co-operative research centre in advanced space manufacturing”.
Labor’s Science and Innovation shadow spokesman Kim Carr said the funding injection was on top of the $55 million Labor commitment to space research and development across the nation.
The funding will contribute to the retention of unique sovereign capabilities in a range of space technologies, including position, navigation and timing technologies, earth observation, space situational awareness and debris tracking and communications technologies and services.
Mr Carr announced the Agency headquarters will remain in South Australia, which was once a point of contention for Chief Minister Andrew Barr, but said the ACT’s companies and universities with an extensive research record made Jerrabomberra the ideal destination for the new space park at the High Tech Industry and Innovation Park.
“This will be in close proximity to the University of NSW, UC and ANU,” he said.
“This investment is a classic example of Labor’s 21st-century innovation policy where white coat meets blue collar, with the best scientific advice translating into quality blue collar jobs.”
“It is so important for Australia to maintain sovereign space capabilities, these skills and capabilities are vital to our national security, have a critical role in the security and reliability of our national communications, and industry 4.0 development and the jobs of the future.”
Labor Eden Monaro MP Mike Kelly said he had been approached by the local sector about building the tech park.
“It’s the sort of research we’re desperately going to need in the future,” Mr Kelly said. “This is exciting from a national security point of view, in protecting our satellite and communications infrastructure.
“This investment has seen a number of companies come to my door to say they will come to this high-tech park.”