VICTORIA AUSTRALIAN SPACE AGENCY CAMPAIGN
Victoria has made a bold play for Australia's first national space agency, touting it's manufacturing history and strong industry links.
A search for the home state of the new agency is underway after the Turnbull government set aside $41 million for it in May's federal budget.
Victorian Industry Minister Ben Carroll has requested a meeting with his federal counterpart by the end of June to press the state's case.
"No other state or territory can boast having one in five space industry headquarters right here in Victoria, ready to go," he said on Monday.
Victoria is home to some of the world's biggest names in aerospace, including Lockheed Martin, Thales, Boeing and BAE Systems, each conducting research, development and manufacturing.
"Victoria has generations of manufacturing experience and major companies willing to invest. This makes us the perfect home for the Australian Space Agency," Mr Carroll said.
"We can leverage the $41 million and make it really work with our unique university sector on top of the 20 per cent aerospace industry we have here in Victoria.
La Trobe University has a $20 million partnership with the German Space Agency to develop and design a super-sharp-image camera to fly on the International Space Station.
Meanwhile, Swinburne University has joined with the California Institute of Technology, giving the latter access to Hawaii's Keck Observatory.
Victoria's Lead Scientist Amanda Caples said space technology is used in a variety of ways, from satellite navigation to agriculture, health and land management.
Victoria is already at the forefront of research, engineering and advanced manufacturing in the areas of aerospace, satellite communications, cybersecurity and spatial information for the civil and defence industries, she added.
The global space industry is growing and forecast to be worth more than $1 trillion by 2040.
The state Labor government said basing the headquarters in Victoria would boost the economy and create thousands of jobs.
"It's about jobs on the ground from manufacturing to science to technology to engineering and we want to be part of this growth sector," Mr Carroll said.
Western Australia, South Australia, NSW, the Northern Territory and ACT have all expressed interest in hosting the space agency, which will set up temporarily in Canberra from July 1.
It's hoped a decision on a permanent base will be made by the end of 2018.