Space race has manufacturing looking up in Ipswich

FRESH from a multi-million dollar investment in the region's defence industry, Ipswich could soon play a part in Australia's growing space agency.

Earlier this year Queensland's Attorney-General Yvette D'ath set a state committee with the task of examining opportunities to create jobs across Queensland from the establishment of an Australian space industry.

The inquiry was handed to the State Development, Natural Resources and Agricultural Industry Development Committee, of which Ipswich West MP Jim Madden is a member.

State Development, Natural Resources and Agricultural Industry Development Committee chair Chris Whiting and Ipswich West MP Jim Madden at Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex.
State Development, Natural Resources and Agricultural Industry Development Committee chair Chris Whiting and Ipswich West MP Jim Madden at Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex. Contributed

The committee will consider how the Australian Government's proposal to create an Australian Space Agency can benefit Queensland.

It will also investigate opportunities for new and future businesses, including in Ipswich, to get involved in the space supply chain.

Opportunities are expected to be provided for space systems including communication satellites, ground systems, applications and ancillary services, and telecommunications, mapping and emergency management.

The committee will also investigate Queensland's areas of competitive advantage which have been identified as communications, earth observations, position, navigation and timing.

Mr Madden was excited to investigate how the opportunities an agency could "create for Queensland to play a large part in the Australian space industry sphere".

Mr Madden travelled to Canberra this week to meet with representatives from the University of New South Wales School of Engineering and Information Technology, the ACT Government, the ANU Institute of Space, Mount Stromlo Observatory, Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex and Equatorial Launch Australia.

The committee is due to table its report on February 28.

Rheinmetall is building a $170 million Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence at Redbank.

The facility will build 186 Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles for the Australian Army.