Australia determined to beat SA on SKA

2012-03-14 11:45

Canberra - Australian Science Minister Chris Evans says his government remains committed to beating South Africa in a close tender process to host the world's largest and most sensitive radio telescope.

A consortium of 20 countries will announce as early as April whether SA or a joint bid from Australia and New Zealand will be chosen to host the €1.5bn ($2bn) radio telescope comprising over 3 000 antenna dishes.

Evans said on Wednesday that Australia is "still absolutely committed to winning the bid".

The telescope will be used for research into fundamental unanswered questions about the universe, including how galaxies evolve and how the first black holes formed.

The telescope is being paid for by 67 organisations in 20 countries and a recent scientific panel review has thrown its weight behind SA to host the instrument.

  • - 2012-03-14 11:58

    Lets hope it is not up to the politicians to decide but that they respect the scientists recommendations.

      Nicholas.Spaggiari - 2012-03-14 12:24

      What kind of scientists make recommendations on construction and maintenance costs... lol

      TSR01 - 2012-03-14 12:57

      Actuarial scientists.

  • Citizen - 2012-03-14 11:58

    without being funny this whole advertising campaign on the radio for the SA getting the SKA is getting a bit silly now, are we trying to win by 'out advertising' them to the winning was news 6 months ago...

      TSR01 - 2012-03-14 13:00

      The construction of the MeerKAT in SA 6 months ago - to prove that SA had the facilities, skill, and technology to host the SKA, in SA's bid to host the SKA - was news. Now that scientists have weighed in favor of SA, it is news again, since it was never a given than SA would be shown as a favored option in the bidding process.

  • Stephen - 2012-03-14 12:09

    I think we all know the reason we won’t get it. The ANCYL will nationalise it. "It's our universe"

      Tshepo - 2012-03-14 12:19

      negative sentiments like this don't help...

      jackivdm - 2012-03-14 13:41

      You can't nationalise something that already belongs to the state...

  • Zion - 2012-03-14 12:14

    I assume the people tending this thing will be accommodated in Carnarvon. If that is the case then there will be fewer persons left. Carnarvon is a small town waiting to die. Have driven through Carnarvon twice and found the town to be stuck somewhere in history circa. 1930

      Tshepo - 2012-03-14 12:25

      That's what happens when you "drive through" get the wrong impression. Next time try staying over and actually see the place.

      S - 2012-03-14 12:40

      Difficult to stay over. "Welcome to Carnarvon" and "You are now leaving Carnarvon" are written on the same signpost.

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-03-14 13:25

      That's why it will be built there... because it is not an area in which many people live, therefore less radio interference, pollution etc...

  • Glyn - 2012-03-14 12:25

    This "scientific panel throwing it's weight" behind the SA bid could just be a way of pressuring Australia to cut the cost, or to give somebody a handout! I smell a rat!

      TSR01 - 2012-03-14 13:06

      Or, it could be that they are declaring the facts of their investigations - if that indirectly creates pressure for other candidates to review their offerings, then that is a secondary result of their initial action. Besides, regardless of pricing negotiations, a country cannot simply reduce its risk profile (eg. Earthquakes, wildfires, etc.) voluntarily or even involuntarily - it is based on a geographic historical pattern in that region. At the end of the day, the risk profile vs. the investment costs weigh in together to factor in which country would be best suited for the long-standing research infrastructure development. It doesn't really matter which country wants it, so long as the best suited country gets it. Wouldn't it be embarrassing if the bidding country lost the €1.5bn investment from 20 other countries due to a previously prevalent natural disaster in the region? I should think so. :)

  • Skuiter - 2012-03-14 12:50

    is it only me who sees the irony in that if we win the bid, we are placing the ska here to find out how the first black holes were formed. Ie, we are placing it in a black hole to find answers to black holes.....

  • wesley.bischoff - 2012-03-14 13:23

    Ha! They won't beat us. We offer the best bid, low cost and guaranteed area of little or none radio interference. Plus we are favoured by key scientists. Move over Aus... SA is rising up :-)

  • kaMazibuko - 2012-03-14 13:44

    great stuff

  • Victor - 2012-03-15 10:46

    And anyway why do they want to find the origin of black holes in space when they actually they originated when the ANC took over this country " we give them our tax money and it dissapears into a black hole, never to be seen again"

  • ludlowdj - 2012-03-15 12:06

    Bottom line is that politics must dictate the final decision and I most certainly would not spend billions to build this sort of facility in a country that is leaning towards typical African dictatorship status. northern Australia would be the best solution.

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