Alice to get first Aboriginal owned earth ground station


2642 CfAT satellite dish OKIndigenous Business Australia will fund, with a $6m loan, Australia’s first earth ground station owned by an Aboriginal company.
The facility for tracking satellites will be built and owned by the Centre for Appropriate Technology Ltd (CfAT) in its Heath Road complex, according to a media release this morning.
CfAT is an Aboriginal owned not-for-profit science and technology company.
Global communications company Viasat Inc has partnered with CfAT to launch the real-time earth facility.
The investment enables Central Australia to be a key player in the global satellite and space industry and Indigenous Australians to be leading participants in the sector. The investment is also strongly aligned with the priorities for the Australian Space Agency, says the release.

The facility will be used to track the next generation of low earth orbiting satellites for earth observation used for scientific research, environmental monitoring, and commercial applications.


CfAT Chairperson Peter Renehan is quoted as saying: ‘This facility brings together our mission of engagement and people, innovation and excellence – and puts Aboriginal people at the forefront of Australia’s growing space sector.


‘This state-of-the-art development will provide a positive contribution to the local economy through employment opportunities for local businesses during each phase of construction as well as ongoing jobs for local Aboriginal people once operational.


“CfAT exists to provide people in regional and remote Australia with options for maintaining their relationship with country. We do this by providing technologically innovative solutions to infrastructure challenges with digital connectivity as a core focus of the company’s work.”

PHOTO: This is the existing Geoscience Australia Antenna at the Heath Road site. The development will comprise two similar antenna.


Report amended at 9.59am.



  1. If I recall correctly, the Geoscience Australia Antenna commenced operation as a Landsat receiving station in 1979, so this year marks its 40th anniversary.
    Our family was living at the CSIRO residence by Heath Road at the time, now the Centre for Appropriate Technology.
    There was one funny occasion when my brother was wandering around in the paddock nearby the new facility, and wherever he went the antenna would swing around and point towards him.
    I think he got a bit spooked by it but it was the technical officers in the adjoining demountable lab that were just having a bit of fun.

  2. Development doesn’t always mean improvement.
    Some things should be left alone.
    Don’t people care and worry about contamination by electromagnetic radiation?
    5G is EVIL, by the way.
    Do try to remember that.

  3. Good work helping Aboriginal Australians, just a shame it won’t help the ones who really need help.

  4. Dehne Mclaughlin: If you do a bit of research instead of being negative, you will be surprised to find out that they are a lot of Aboriginal scientists capable to run it.


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