Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Creating Jobs: We have Lift Off, Arnhem Space Centre given tick of approval

The Northern Territory is a step closer to being part of the trillion dollar international space industry with NASA and Equatorial Launch Australia (ELA) ready to launch their sounding rocket program in 2020 from the Arnhem Space Centre.

ELA is developing a commercial spaceport  in East Arnhem Land, with a sub-orbital rocket launch facility planned for the south west of Nhulunbuy.

In more great news for the project, the NT EPA has deemed the centre to not have a significant environmental impact and does not require an environmental impact assessment. This will indicate to the global space industry that the Territory is truly open for business.

In March this year the Territory Labor Government released the Territory Space Industry 2020 strategy, outlining the government’s plans to grow the Territory’s space industry, create jobs and connect local businesses to the global space economy which is expected to grow to US$1 trillion by 2030.

The Territory is uniquely positioned to benefit from the space economy as its proximity to the equator, its coastline and sparse population makes it ideal to support safe and efficient space launches.

The Arnhem Space Centre will be a significant site in the Asia pacific region and will attract new business and investment opportunities to East Arnhem Land and the Northern Territory.

ELA is anticipated to start construction of the Arnhem Space Centre in early 2020.

Quotes attributed to Chief Minister Michael Gunner:

“The Territory Labor Governments number one priority is to create jobs, and this project is doing that – creating jobs of the future.

“We are supporting a new and exciting industry which will grow both the East Arnhem Land and Northern Territory economy. It will also further support Nhulunbuy’s transformation from a mining town to a town which is a strong economic and services hub.

“NASA’s selection of Equatorial Launch Australia and the Arnhem Space Centre site is another important and critical step for this exciting project which has the potential to unlock new opportunities for the Gove Peninsula and drive the economic development in the Territory.”

Quotes attributed to Equatorial Launch Australia CEO, Carley Scott

“NASA’s work with ELA is a big win for the local community, building confidence in another pathway to future industry opportunities in a region that is transitioning away from traditional mining.

"Developing East Arnhem Limited continue to provide strong support to the region, the investigation of space is a testament to their innovative approach and commitment to finding new economic pathways into the future."

"The Gumatj Corporation are pivotal and will continue to be at the forefront of discussions about how the site will progress, and how opportunities can be brought into the region for the Yolngu people as we all continue to grow together"

Media Contact: Cameron Angus 0404 021 192