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 next month whether South Africa or a joint bid from Australia and New Zealand will be chosen to host the 1.5 billion euro ($2 billion) radio telescope comprising 3,000 antenna dishes.
Evans said 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 organizations in 20 countries.