Ambitious plans for a NASA space centre are forging ahead in the remote region of Arnhem Land with a visit from the Northern Territory's Chief Minister this week.
The rugged coastal region may not be the most obvious place to launch rockets into space, though an injection of money from a large investment company says otherwise.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner yesterday visited Nhulunbuy to announce the major plans for the economic future of Northeast Arnhem Land and the Gove Peninsula, where the center is pegged to be built.
The Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund has announced they will be investing millions into the Arnhem Space Centre, which will see NASA rockets launched as soon as next year.
Mr Gunner said the investment is key to getting the project off the ground and creating long-term jobs in the Nhulunbuy, Yirrkala and Gunyangara communities.
"The Arnhem Space Centre is a sign of things to come for the future of the Nhulunbuy and the North East Arnhem economy, and PIIF's investment into the project is a show of confidence in the Territory's economic future," he said.
The world's largest space agency, NASA, first announced its intentions to scope out the viability of the region in May of this year and awarded a contract to Equatorial Launch Australia to carry out further investigations.
The Northern Land Council and Commonwealth Government signed off on a 40 year lease of 275ha to the Gumatj Corporation in East Arnhem Land in 2017 with thoughts it would compliment other Australian space developments, and boost the local economy.
Equatorial Launch Australia chief Carley Scott said most recent injection of money into the project is a clear signal the Arnhem Space Centre is uniquely positioned to deliver economic growth not just for the Territory, but for the future of Australia.
"The Northern Territory has always offered exceptional geographic and business opportunities," she said.
"The decision by PIIF to support ELA's spaceport planning is historic -it clearly signals to government and investors the Arnhem Space Centre is an opportunity worth getting behind.
"Importantly, it also shows that the time for government, investors and customers to engage, is now."
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