10 May 2023

Economic report is good news for proposed space centre

| Matt Nicholls
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A SPACEPORT in Cape York would have a significant impact on the Queensland economy if the project goes ahead.

Space Centre Australia, which hopes to build a launch site near Weipa, recently commissioned a Canberra based firm to produce an economic impact study on the project and industry in general.

Chief executive officer James Palmer said the final result brought good news.

“The Total Addressable Market and Potential Economic Impact study is exciting as this level of analysis has not been undertaken in the context of launch infrastructure in Australia,” he said.

“This analysis was developed in conjunction with the Centre for International Economics.”

Mr Palmer said the global space sector was set to almost triple in the next 20 years, from US$450 billion currently to US$1.1 trillion by 2040.

“Countries will continue to be reliant on foreign launch facilities with the capability of launching medium to large vehicles,” he said.

“This potential provides Space Centre Australia with significant opportunity, as current launch facilities reach capacity through the launch of small payloads, particularly in the USA and China.

“An Australian large launch facility like Space Centre Australia will be in a position to capture large payload launches from countries that don’t have large launch capability.

“Multiple countries’ governments, military, and businesses, choose to launch large satellites into both LEO and GEO orbits.

“These types of launches can only be addressed from several launch locations globally.

“Weipa is one such location.”

Mr Palmer said that by 2030, the federal government aimed to increase the size of the Australian space industry from the current $5 billion to $12 billion.

“The market for Space Centre Australia’s services could be up to $610 million a year by 2028, with potential total revenue of up to $5.7 billion between 2022 and 2032,” the CEO said.

“The reports show that in a typical operating year by 2030, it is projected that SCA’s activities could increase Australian GDP by 0.06 per cent.

“Most of this increase will be experienced in Queensland, where gross state product is expected to be 0.3 per cent ($1.416 million) higher than otherwise in 2030.”

The SCA proposal has yet to be formally lodged, with land use agreements and environmental studies still pending.

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