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When it comes to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), Western Australia has a story to tell.

WA Deputy Premier, Roger Cook and ICRAR-UWA’s Luka Cortese discuss WA’s important role in Astronomy.

From a simple stall at the SKA Forum in 2010 to the SKA beginning construction this month, Western Australia has been deeply involved in the journey of the next generation radio telescope and in astronomical research.

With the construction phase under way, ICRAR’s Interim Director of Science at the University of Western Australia node, Professor Luca Cortese, met with the Western Australian Deputy Premier and Minister for Jobs, Tourism, Science and Industry, the Honourable Roger Cook, MLA, to talk about the current state of astronomy research in WA.

The pair discussed WA’s growing astronomy sector, which over the past decade has become home to almost one-third of the nation’s astronomers, and a thriving hub of the world’s finest researchers, engineers, and big data experts.

“The opportunity to pivot into the industries associated with radio astronomy represents a huge opportunity for us to further diversify our economy,” Minister Cook said.

“The SKA is a Global mega-science project and WA is going to be at the centre of this extraordinary international collaboration.”

The pair also considered the exciting opportunities for Western Australians expected over the next 50 years, with projects like the SKA, along with discoveries made by ICRAR researchers, having applications and benefits for local industries.

“We are thrilled to have the support of the Western Australian State Government in making WA the hub for radio astronomy in the future,” Professor Cortese said.

ICRAR would like to thank the WA State Government for their ongoing support of cutting-edge research in radio astronomy and for their help in bringing important projects such as the SKA to Western Australia.