THE VIEW FOR SPACE: The Cooloola Coast and Gympie region have the potential to win big as the State Government explores growing the space industry.
THE VIEW FOR SPACE: The Cooloola Coast and Gympie region have the potential to win big as the State Government explores growing the space industry. Arthur Gorrie

The $6 billion industry eyeing off the Gympie region

STRONG traditional industries like agriculture and mining mean Gympie could be a big winner in a State space race worth up to $6 billion, Development Minister Cameron Dick has said.

Fresh off the back of the Government's Sky is not the limit: Building Queensland's space economy, which confirmed the Cooloola Coast could be used for launches, the Minister has confirmed the region could be a piece of the puzzle.

"Our government recognises that Queensland's emerging space industry has the potential to benefit regional areas like Gympie, where traditional industries have synergies with the space industry," he said.

 

Costco first sod turning.
A groundbreaking ceremony featuring the Hon Cameron Dick, Queensland Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, was held on Tuesday, June 26, at Walker Corporation's Citiswich Business Park to mark the commencement of construction of a new 13,750 square metre Costco outlet to service Ipswich and surrounding areas.
Also attending the sod turning and available for interview will be Patrick Noone, Country Manager, Costco Wholesale Australia and Peter Saba, Queensland General Manager of Walker Corporation.
Minister Cameron Dick. Cordell Richardson

Space industry experts who made submissions to the report last year highlighted the region's advantages including a latitude as similar to that of Florida's Kennedy Space Centre, and defence-controlled airspace.

Mr Dick said the State would work with all government tiers on growing the industry, and the region's political leaders hope to have Gympie leading the way into the final frontier.

"If the government is serious about progressing a space industry I could think of no better place than Gympie," MP Tony Perrett said.

 

Llew OBrien and Tony Perrett
MPs Llew O'Brien and Tony Perrett. Troy Jegers

Along with the latitude and airspace benefits he said the region was "close enough to Amberley to be able to leverage off its sophisticated radar facilities".

"It would not only provide a launch site but also generate significant economic and employment opportunities on the back of the proposal," Mr Perrett said.

"Similar sites elsewhere have found that an increase in tourism was not only about watching a rocket launch but also included renewed interest in star gazing events, and museum and science exhibitions.

 

Jet sonic boom
A potential coast launch site would host more than simple rockets, but also scramjet technology research. Contributed

Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien said the Coalition was investing in the industry with $41 million to establish the Australian Space Industry - and he would like for Gympie to get a "piece of the action".

"I'm a firm believer that innovation creates jobs.

"There's nothing more innovative than space and I'd like our own slice of it for Gympie and Wide Bay.

"It's great that our region has been recognised having great potential to participate in space industry and I look forward to working in collaboration with stakeholders to secure our own piece of the space action."