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South West and Collie to be part of LeoLabs global radar network

South West and Collie to be part of LeoLabs global radar network

The appeal of Western Australia as a base for industry has been highlighted with the world-leading space debris radar tracking company LeoLabs moving on plans to set up its first Australian-based radars in the South West of the State.

The US company has established an Australian presence and will now build a pair of radars in the Collie area that will track debris, satellites and objects in low earth orbit.

The new ground-based infrastructure will form part of a global network providing comprehensive coverage to provide transparency in low earth orbit, prevent collisions and assist satellite operators to deploy their services safely.

LeoLabs Australia managing director Terry van Haren said the new radars will provide a very important ‘foundation piece’ within the space sector in Australia and help further expansion of the sector into Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and debris monitoring.

“Where we build space radars other elements of the space sector seem to follow – our New Zealand site is a very good example of this,” Mr van Haren said.

Collie-Preston MLA Jodie Hanns welcomed the decision by LeoLabs to locate its first Australian radars in the Collie area.

“This is an exciting new development for Collie and Western Australia,” Ms Hanns said.

“It shows Collie’s ability to attract ground-breaking new industry and will further build on diversifying Collie’s economy.”

SWDC chief executive officer Mellisa Teede said it shows confidence in the South West, which is now part of Western Australia’s growing space sector.

“It is terrific that companies like LeoLabs are choosing the South West – and Collie in particular – as a base for their operations,” Ms Teede said.

“Our team continues to promote the region and its competitive advantages, actively helping to secure new investment as part of a wider strategy to strengthen and diversify the economy.”

Collie Shire President Cr Stanley welcomed the decision by LeoLabs to invest in Collie.

“We’re beyond excited that Collie has a role to play in WA’s growing space sector,” Cr Stanley said.

“LeoLabs is one of a growing number of businesses at the forefront of technology choosing Collie as a base, ensuring an exciting, sustainable and prosperous future for the region.”

It was a Federal, State and regional effort to work with LeoLabs. Austrade, SWDC, Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation and the Shire of Collie all played important roles.