Joh-era plan finally cleared for lift-off
QUEENSLAND is primed to lead Australia's space efforts, with a new report revealing the state's location makes it perfect for launch sites and ground stations.
State Development Minister Cameron Dick will today unveil an $8 million plan to boost the industry as part of a State Government strategy to create an extra 6000 space-related jobs by 2036.
The five-year space industry strategy reveals Queensland's east coast location and its closeness to the equator makes it perfect for launches.
The report also compares Queensland's latitude with America's famous Cape Canaveral - one of the busiest launch sites in the world.
"Ideal latitude, clear skies and open waters to the east means that Queensland can launch larger payloads, and into more orbits, than any other place in Australia," the report says.
"Queensland is close to the equator, on the east coast of Australia, and has large areas free from radio traffic with high-speed internet thanks to the state's remote industries."
The report said clear skies, particularly in western Queensland, meant there were plenty of locations for ground stations to track and control satellites.
The concept of a space base in Queensland has been pitched on and off since as far back as the Joh Bjelke-Petersen era.
Mr Dick said Queensland's respected hi-tech aerospace industry already gave the state a strong foundation to extend its space-related reach.
"Queensland has already gained the reputation as Australia's space coast, and through this strategy our government is looking to unlock maximum benefit for local businesses and workers," he said.
"Now is the right time to support Queensland's endeavours to secure our lead place in Australia's space race."
The strategy outlines a two-part action plan to strengthen Queensland's capabilities and grow the space industry.
This will include connecting with industries that would likely benefit from space-enabled services.
"There is huge potential for key industries in Queensland to benefit from satellite data, to improve practices like land and freshwater management, and agricultural production," Mr Dick said.
"Space technology also adds value to other areas of our economy, delivering increased productivity through Earth observation data and satellite positioning systems."
Queensland's space industry already supports 2000 jobs.