Progress on space project

Southern Launch's Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex has been declared a major development by the state government.

The declaration will allow for a more rigorous assessment of the proposal and allow Southern Launch to develop a formal development application.

The company's chief executive officer Lloyd Damp said the declaration recognised the economic significance of the project to the state.

Micro and small-lift rocket manufacturers would be able to launch satellites into orbit from the company's planned multi-user rocket launch facility using cutting edge technology.

Mr Damp said Southern Launch aimed to create a facility that could pride itself on safety to the public and the environment.

"The proposed facility is being designed to compete globally on rocket launch schedule availability, launch window flexibility and launch site accessibility," he said.

"Southern Launch believes the step to major project status says something about South Australia's preparedness to engage in futuristic industries and the exciting opportunities they will bring."

Mr Damp said there was no fixed timetable for the company's Eyre Peninsula launch program but the major project declaration was in line with its ambition to get off the ground in 2020.

One of Southern Launch's key roles now is to enter into more in-depth community consultation with stakeholders.

Off the back of the major development declaration Regional Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula (RDAWEP) is looking to assemble a Space Taskforce to help accelerate the development of the space industry in the region.

RDAWEP regional development deputy director Brad Riddle said regions like Eyre Peninsula played an important role in servicing, supporting and developing sectors of the industry.

"The development of space launch, assembly and niche manufacturing in Eyre Peninsula represents an unparalleled opportunity for the region to lead Australia's space launch capabilities and benefit from the resultant economic benefit and job opportunities," he said.

The taskforce will provide a way for all levels of government, communities, industry and councils to communicate and will also promote the region as a preferred destination for space capability, enhance the level of space industry capability and supply chain opportunities, and assist in implementing the Australian Civil Space Strategy.

Port Lincoln, Lower Eyre Peninsula, Ceduna and Koonibba Aboriginal Community council chief executive officers, representatives from Southern Launch and other state and federal organisations will make up the taskforce.