A new type of sodium guidestar laser based on semiconductor laser technology is being developed by the astronomy, space, and laser communication communities in Australia and the United States, in partnership with laser manufacturer Arete Associates. Funding has been secured from the Australian Research Council and the Australian National University, with support from academic (UNSW) and industry partners (AAO, GMTO, EOS, Lockheed Martin). The consortium aims to develop a full scale prototype of the Semiconductor Guidestar Laser. The laser, to be delivered in 2019, will be initially installed on the EOS Satellite and Debris Tracking Station 1.8m telescope at Mount Stromlo Observatory where it will be thoroughly tested, on sky and in real operation conditions. This will be the first time that a Laser Guide Star is created in Australian skies. We present the project motivation and objectives, laser development and test plans, and the preliminary test results obtained to date.