On the 5th of November, the Australian Government Review of the Woomera Prohibited Area Interim Report was Released, and can be found here.
The report examines the access rights of the different stakeholders in Woomera, and if the management could be improved for all parties, in particular, improving mining access to the Woomera Prohibited Area, that has the potential to exploit large mineral reserves.
The Review was commissioned by the Government in May 2010, and was conducted by Dr Allan Hawke AC.
The review consulted with many parties, in particular Defence, the South Australian Government and the mining industry, and even the Space Policy Unit.
Whilst Woomera is seen as one of Australia’s best defence and aerospace assents due to the incredibly large testing range and significant Space heritage, the Space Policy Unit indicated “it is not aware of any specific civil or commercial space activities, national, or international with definite plans that involve the WPA”, whilst acknowledging the activities of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, the University of Queensland and the South Australian Space School at Woomera.
The Report states:
“The WPA attracts civil and commercial space activity because of its large size and remote location. The Commonwealth Government acknowledges, however, that the economic benefits of this usage is limited and need only remain a priority to the extent it is compatible with other uses of the WPA."
Hopefully, the increased mining access to Woomera will work nicely side-by-side with any future Space Activities.
The Interim Report is available at www.defence.gov.au/woomerareview, and anyone interested in submitting for the final report can do so before the 3rd of December 2010.