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In our first year of operation, we thank Australia and the international community for their overwhelming support as we establish the Australian Space Agency. Our team will do our very best to serve our nation and its vision.

Nothing inspires quite like space and with the momentum of a nation behind us, the Agency is on the right trajectory to transform and grow a globally respected space industry, and to reach and inspire all Australians. We have listened to what the sector has told us through consultations across all states and territories and we have sought to reflect the view of the nation in this Strategy. Threaded through the Strategy are our values - Australia as a responsible global citizen; being safe and secure in space and on Earth; achieving shared ambition through partnership; doing what we say we will do; embracing entrepreneurship and inclusion; and being curious to learn more.

Opportunity

Australia’s space sector touches virtually every sector of the Australian economy and includes sending satellites and spacecraft into space as well as using space to help us communicate, locate, and see the Earth in new ways. With the rapid transformation of the sector the time is right for Australia to leverage its competitive advantages; with our unique location to connect with space; robotics, sensors and automation; and our capability in advanced communication, quantum technology, rocket propulsion, space medicine and astronomy, to take its place in the global space sector.

Challenge

Australia’s space sector must also address the challenges of a fiercely competitive and rapidly growing space sector while building scale and addressing market barriers. The Agency has a vital role to help open the door internationally for our research and industry sectors, and set a relevant legal and regulatory framework that meets our international obligations and facilitates growth in our industry while maintaining safe and secure operation in space and on Earth.

Australian Civil Space Strategy

To realise these opportunities and address our challenges, the Australian Civil Space Strategy outlines a staged plan to meet the Government goal to diversify the economy, triple the size of Australia’s space sector and grow an additional 20,000 jobs by 2030.

The Strategy is built on four Strategic Space Pillars - open the door internationally; develop national capability in areas of competitive advantage; ensure safety and national interest are addressed; and inspire and improve the lives of all Australians. It also makes clear that meeting Australia’s international obligations and supporting a rules-based order are central to achieving this vision.

Activities under the pillars will be guided by the seven National Civil Space Priorities that build on Australia’s areas of strength and address our challenges. The first two National Civil Space Priorities – Position, navigation and timing; and Earth observation received $224.9m and $36.9m respectively to Geoscience Australia in the 2018 Federal Budget, as well as funding to space activities through the CSIRO. Communication technologies and ground infrastructure will be a focus in 2019-2021, for example funding a mission control facility in Adelaide. 2021-2028 focusses on the remaining four priorities of Leapfrog R&D, Space situational awareness, Robotics and automation, and Access to space.

The Strategy lays the foundation for Australia to participate in joint missions with international partners and multilateral fora. It lays out a phased investment in our National Civil Space Priorities for Australia and sets a timetable for regulatory reform to enable launch to space from Australia and the foundations for human space flight from Australia. The Strategy seeks to engage and inspire the nation and set a framework for training and future jobs in the space sector.

Measuring success

We will report every two years on our progress towards our goal of tripling the sector’s contribution to GDP to $12 billion and creating an additional 20,000 jobs by 2030. We also aim to stimulate at least a $1 billion pipeline of inbound capital investment in Australia’s civil space industry sector between 2019 and 2028; achieve year-on-year growth of the Australian space sector that exceeds 8.5 per cent; create a regulatory framework that ensures effective, efficient and safe space activities; and reach at least 10 million Australians a year with our work and the impact of space to the nation.

In the short term we also aim to form cooperative agreements with international space agencies and states and territories, along with effective industry partnerships.

Australia has a strong and dynamic space sector, with high ambitions, great potential characterised by creativity, entrepreneurship, and a sense of discovery. This Strategy provides the certainty of a long-term framework around which the sector can plan its activities towards the long-term transformation and growth of the industry. We want to build on Australia’s strong heritage in space. Our 65,000 years of Indigenous connection with space reminds us all that we are here to serve our nation, honour our past and build a future to benefit all Australians.

 

Dr Megan Clark AC
Head, Australian Space Agency