WA space race

Canning Times - - FRONT PAGE -

CURTIN Univer­sity vicechan­cel­lor Deb­o­rah Terry says the na­tion needs a co­he­sive ap­proach to its con­sid­er­able space-re­search port­fo­lio.

Her com­ments came in the wake of calls by Riverton MLA Mike Na­han and Se­na­tor Linda Reynolds for a space agency in Aus­tralia.

“Curtin Univer­sity has sig­nif­i­cant ca­pa­bil­ity in space-re­lated re­search and is a key con­trib­u­tor to re­search in this field both in Aus­tralia and in­ter­na­tion­ally,” Pro­fes­sor Deb­o­rah Terry said.

“Aus­tralian re­search in­sti­tu­tions and our col­lab­o­ra­tive part­ners have world-class ex­per­tise and ca­pa­bil­i­ties in space-re­lated re­search and these foun­da­tions are of great value to Aus­tralia’s strate­gic po­si­tion­ing in the re­gion.

“More­over, the trans­la­tion of space-re­search out­puts into other re­search and in­dus­trial ap­pli­ca­tions presents mas­sive op­por­tu­ni­ties for the Aus­tralian and state gov­ern­ments, re­search in­sti­tu­tions, and in- dus­try and com­mer­cial part­ners.

“How­ever, Aus­tralia needs a co­he­sive, com­pre­hen­sive and long-term strate­gic ap­proach to co-or­di­nate and sup­port the na­tion’s al­ready con­sid­er­able space-re­search port­fo­lio, and this may in­clude the es­tab­lish­ment of a na­tional space agency.”

Se­na­tor Reynolds said WA was al­ready home to a wide va­ri­ety of civil­ian and De­fence space fa­cil­i­ties and would soon co-host the world’s most pow­er­ful tele­scope, the Square Kilo­me­tre Ar­ray.

Dr Na­han said WA’s work­force had a strong pres­ence in the space sec­tor, with the po­ten­tial to ex­pand.

WA Op­po­si­tion Leader Mike Na­han, WA Lib­eral Se­na­tor Linda Reynolds and CSIRO Head of WA Ob­ser­va­tory Oper­a­tions As­tron­omy and Space Sci­ence Kevin Fer­gu­son.

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