Fire up the rocket engines because South Australia is one giant leap closer to seeing rockets launched at Whalers Way.

The State Commission Assessment Panel has given Southern Launch the green light to build the infrastructure required to undertake three test launches at the Port Lincoln site before the end of the year.

“This is an exciting step forward in South Australia’s already star-studded space CV,” said Premier Steven Marshall.

“All that’s left now is for Southern Launch to attain a launch licence from the Australian Space Agency, and that process is underway,” Premier Marshall said.

The results from three tests would form an important part of Southern Launch’s ambition to build a permanent orbital facility at Port Lincoln, which would be one of only two such facilities in the Southern Hemisphere.

“South Australia is the Space and Defence state and this represents an enormous opportunity for growth, with South Australia in the box seat to tap into the nation’s booming sectors,” Premier Marshall said.

The approval has been granted under strict conditions, including that an Operational Environmental Management Plan (OEMP) be prepared in consultation with relevant State Government Agencies and local Council, and be submitted to the reasonable satisfaction of the State Planning Commission, prior to the commencement of launch activities to ensure the appropriate mitigation and/or management of potential impacts during the test launch campaign.

Once the tests are complete, all equipment and infrastructure will need to be removed from the site with the land remediated and returned for conservation, recreational and tourism purposes.

“The Federal Government has an ambition to triple the size of the Australian space economy to $12 billion by 2030, and create an additional 20,000 jobs,” Premier Marshall said.

“Initiatives like this mean that South Australia is, and will be, at the forefront of that endeavour,” he said.