Federal and NSW govts chip in $46m for Satellite Manufacturing Hub

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

An Australian Satellite Manufacturing Hub will be built outside Canberra after the federal and New South Wales governments invested around $23 million each in the project.

The hub will be jointly led by Electro Optic Systems and Nova Systems, with Gilmour Space Technologies as a major partner.

The $71.4 million hub will offer design, manufacture, and testing for satellites up to 500kg at two facilities, one in the South Jerrabomberra Innovation Precinct outside Canberra and the other at the UTS Tech Lab at the Sydney Innovation and Technology Precinct based in Botany, New South Wales.

A dedicated R&D facility will be also be developed at the UTS Tech lab adjacent to Sydney’s Tech Central.

The federal funding comes from the Morrison Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) Collaboration stream, which provides large grants for large-scale projects in priority sectors.

Industry minister Angus Taylor at EOS facilities on Tuesday. Image: Facebook

Industry Minister Angus Taylor announced the $23.6 million grant at the Electro Optic Systems’ (EOS) Defence facility in Canberra on Tuesday, saying the new hub will help grow Australia’s burgeoning space sector.

‘“Funding for the Australian Satellite Manufacturing Hub will further help lift our credentials as a leading space nation,” Mr Taylor said.

“This hub will help grow capability in our space sector, support the development of new high-skilled jobs and enable the space supply chain a place where collaboration to build large satellites is right here at home.”

After struggling to get MMI funds out the door, the Coalition has committed around $1 billion from the flagship program during the election campaign and the two months leading up to it.

Labor has accused the Coalition of deliberately holding back announcements to maximise their impact during the campaign, at the expense of local manufacturers.

The New South Wales state government is also contributing $22.86 million to the Australian Satellite Manufacturing Hub.

“We are serious about delivering record infrastructure and jobs and this legacy project will create 125 direct jobs during construction, with half of those outside the Sydney basin, as well as 375 ongoing jobs once operational,” New South Wales Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said.

“The manufacturing facility will be located within the South Jerrabomberra Regional Jobs Precinct, positioning it as one of the state’s major defence, space and cyber-security jobs precinct.”

A separate $52 million MMI grant to manufacture launch vehicles and satellites went to a consortium known as the Australian Space Manufacturing Network and led by Gilmour Space Technologies in March.

Gilmour will also be involved as a partner in the EOS and Nova Systems led Australian Satellite Manufacturing Hub.

Adelaide-based space company Southern Launch has also landed a near-$5 million grant in the latest round MMI Integration and Translation stream funding, announced earlier this month. Several space companies were also funded in the original round last year.

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