Six-month bidding war over space agency

Angus Livingston, AAP Senior Political Writer

The location of Australia's new space agency will be decided during a six-month bidding war between states and territories.

Western Australia and Victoria have already publicly made their case for the new agency, which will start on July 1.

The agency will create hundreds of jobs, but will not be a NASA-style organisation, and will instead co-ordinate funding and policy to drive private sector growth.

"In its first six months of operation the space agency will engage and collaborate with the states, territories, academia and industry, and advise government of the most suitable strategic arrangements for its long-term location," an Industry department spokeswoman told AAP on Tuesday.

Dr Megan Clark will lead the agency for the first year and she will talk with each state and territory to "properly identify what they can bring to the table".

South Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT last year committed to jointly work on growing Australia's space capabilities.

The decision on where the agency will eventually have its headquarters will be made closer to the end of the year.

WA Science Minister Dave Kelly on Monday released an ACIL Allen report outlining the state's geographic advantages and its already thriving space industry.

Victorian Industry Minister Ben Carroll has requested a meeting with his federal counterpart by the end of June to press the state's case.

Victoria is home to some of the world's biggest names in aerospace, including Lockheed Martin, Thales, Boeing and BAE Systems.

"No other state or territory can boast having one in five space industry headquarters right here in Victoria, ready to go," Mr Carroll said on Monday.

But Australian Strategic Policy Institute space lead Dr Malcolm Davis says fighting between the states is "counter-productive" to the national goals of the agency.

It should not be considered as a "NASA Down Under" which built and launched space vehicles and ran space missions.