We are witnessing a real transformation of the global space economy. Space technology is getting smaller, access to space is becoming cheaper and innovation cycles are becoming shorter.
This has meant companies big, medium and small can make significant contributions to the space economy, which has resulted in a rapidly growing space industry, worth around US$350 billion in 2018 globally.
Importantly, for Australians every day, space-based technology provides essential data for what we’ve come to expect – everything from weather forecasting and emergency management to internet access, online banking, and simply knowing where we are.
More and more, we are dependent on digital data and space-enabled services in our work and everyday lives.
They are now driving our productivity and economic growth, our engagement in STEM disciplines and the next generation of high-value jobs.
Our remote regions not only benefit from space technology, they play an important role in hosting ground stations that enable communications between space and Earth.
With these opportunities in front of us, the Coalition Government invested $300 million in space-related activities in last year’s Budget, this included $41 million over four years to establish the Australian Space Agency, and a further $260 million to develop world-leading satellite capabilities through Geoscience Australia. In the 2019-20 Budget we are investing further in the space sector through the $19.5 million Space Infrastructure Fund. The Coalition Government has also announced an additional $6 million to support a Space Discovery Centre.
Collectively, this is part of our overall investment of around $2.4 billion to grow Australia’s research, science and technology capabilities. The Coalition has invested in space activities, not only because it is a growing market with the ability to be a big part of our structural transition to a high tech future, but because space impacts on the broader economy.
The Australian Space Agency commenced operations in July 2018 with a goal to triple the size of the space sector to $12 billion and create up to another 20,000 jobs by 2030. The Australian Civil Space Strategy 2019-2028 sets a clear path to take the space sector into the next decade and beyond.
The Hon Karen Andrews MP
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology