State and territory cooperation
On 24 July 2020, the Australian Space Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Northern Territory Government. It focuses on creating high-tech local jobs and new technologies, as well as highlights the opportunities to engage with international regions to strengthen partnerships and explore further space capabilities.
Read the full statement below.
The Commonwealth of Australia as represented by the Australian Space Agency part of the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (‘the Agency’); and The Northern Territory of Australia care of its agency the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation, (‘the Territory’); Hereinafter referred to individually as ‘Participant’ or collectively as ‘Participants’,
DESIRE TO BUILD on the co-operation already established between the Participants;
RECOGNISING the wishes of the Participants to mutually grow the size, scope, capability and commercial sustainability of Australia’s national space sector;
CONSIDERING the positive contribution that cooperation in supporting the development of infrastructure, science, research, technology, services and applications will bring to all industry organisations as well as academic and research institutions across the space sector;
REFLECTING that the Australian Civil Space Strategy 2019-2028 is a framework for the development and growth of the Australian space industry over ten years; underpinned by four strategic pillars: International; National; Responsible; and Inspire. Under these pillars the strategy endeavours to help realise opportunities and address challenges by opening doors internationally; increasing national space capability; promoting responsible regulation, risk and space culture; and building the future workforce. The Strategy sets a path for the Agency to triple the size of Australia’s space sector to $12 billion and create another 20,000 jobs by 2030;
RECOGNISING that the Agency’s purpose is to transform and grow a globally respected Australian space industry that lifts the broader economy, inspires and improves the lives of Australians – underpinned by strong international and national engagement;
RECALLING that the Agency has seven National Civil Space Priority Areas including communications technologies and services; position, navigation and timing infrastructure; space situational awareness and debris monitoring; leapfrog research and development; Earth observation services; robotics and automation on Earth and in space; and access to space;
RECALLING that the Agency is responsible for whole-of-government coordination of civil space matters and is the primary source of advice to the Australian Government on civil space policy including: providing national policy and strategic advice on the civil space sector; coordinating Australia’s domestic civil space sector activities; supporting the growth of Australia’s space industry and the use of space across the broader economy; leading international civil space engagement; administering space activities legislation and delivering on our international obligations; and inspiring the Australian community and the next generation of space entrepreneurs;
RECOGNISING the Participants’ commitment to work collaboratively with industry to support the growth and development of the civil space sector in Australia and support the Team Australia approach;
RECOGNISING that space will be an enabler to achieve a more prosperous Northern economy and that Northern Australia may require greater investment in economic enabling infrastructure than more developed parts of Australia, as outlined in the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia;
RECOGNISING the Territory’s existing international engagement networks to facilitate the growth of the space sector in the Indo-Pacific region and the opportunities to jointly engage with nations to build complementary space industry capabilities;
RECOGNISING the Territory’s advantages in areas such as:
RECOGNISING the Territory is working to encourage civil space partnerships and engagement with research and broader industry to build economic value for the Territory and Australia. Territory organisations are well progressed in developing commercial launch facilities and are already applying space capabilities into broader areas of the economy such as the Positioning, Navigation and Timing applications in the maritime and agribusiness sectors; Earth Observation applications such as rangeland mapping and bushfire monitoring services, and Advanced Manufacturing;
RECOGNISING the Territory’s existing civil space enabling infrastructure, for example the Alice Springs Centre for Appropriate Technology facility; Geoscience Australia and Bureau of Meteorology operations; and that the Territory has a continuing history in space including stratospheric balloon campaigns as demonstrated by the partnerships between the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Japanese Space Agency, JAXA, the US Space Agency, NASA and the French Space Agency, CNES;
RECOGNISING the Territory’s existing space-related applications in oil, gas, agriculture, bushfire management, and marine surveillance; and international collaborative research and development to support the broader economy.
1.1 The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (‘MOU’) is to:
2.1 The Participants agree that this MOU is not intended to create any binding legal partnership between the Participants, nor are its provisions intended to give rise to legal rights, obligations or liabilities on the part of either Participant.
2.2 Nothing in this MOU creates or implies any obligation on the part of either Participant to enter into any contract, agreement, commitment or other arrangement whatsoever in relation to the subject matter of this MOU.
2.3 Nothing in this MOU requires a Participant to cooperate, facilitate or make any contribution concerning the matters the subject of this MOU in any way contrary to its own interests or requirements.
2.4 Nothing in this MOU implies preferential treatment of assessments undertaken by the Agency, or removal of obligations and processes under regulatory activities, such as under the Space (Launches and Returns) Act 2018.
3.1 Subject to the laws and regulations applicable to them, the Participants, through consultation, will decide upon the specific items and scope of cooperation within the framework of this MOU. The proposed collaborative activities are as follows:
4.1 The Participants will arrange meetings by mutual consent to review progress on this MOU. The persons nominated by the Participants as responsible for overseeing the implementation of this MOU are as follows:
For the Territory:
Mr Shaun Drabsch
Chief Executive Officer
For the Agency:
Mr Karl Rodrigues
Executive Director, International and National Engagement
or such other person notified to the other Participant.
4.2 The Participants acknowledge that the State and Territories Space Coordination Committee will be used as the forum to review the Agency’s and all States and Territories progress to supporting the growth of Australia’s national space capability.
5.1 Subject to this clause 5, each Participant must keep confidential, and must not publish or disclose to a third party, without the written consent of the other Participant, any information and/or data relating to the operations, business, property or affairs of a Participant which is of a confidential nature (‘Confidential Information’).
Nothing in clause 5.1 prevents:
6.1 This MOU will come into effect on the date of signature by both Participants and will continue in operation until termination by either Participant giving one months’ written notice to the other.
7.1 No partnership or agency
7.4 No interference with executive duties or powers
Signed separately in two copies, in Canberra, Australia and Northern Territory, Australia on 23 July 2020.