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Lift-off for the Australian Space Agency

1 July 2018

History was made today with the commencement of operation of the Australian Space Agency, a milestone in the nation’s space history.

Australia already has a proud history in space. 

In 1963 Australia received its first weather warning from a satellite sending information to the Bureau of Meteorology. In 1969 Neil Armstrong walked on the moon with his first steps being beamed around the world from an Australian satellite dish. In 1970 NASA launched Australia’s first satellite into space.

The establishment of Australia’s first space agency will help our local businesses gain a greater share of the US$345 billion global space market and build a new industry for our nation. Australia’s current share is just 0.8 per cent.

By 2030, the Turnbull Government hopes to have tripled the size of Australia’s space industry to be worth around $10-12 billion, resulting in the creation of jobs for Australians and generating further economic growth.

The Turnbull Government’s $300 million investment in space through the 2018–19 Budget includes $41 million over the next four years to kick-start the agency. This initial funding will enable it to support businesses in the global space sector, coordinate domestic activities, engage with stakeholders, and help build the country’s international networks.

The Agency’s operational funding is ongoing, ensuring that it continues to enable Australia’s businesses to create jobs for decades to come.

Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Michaelia Cash said today was a great milestone for Australia, not just for our progress in science, but for the economic opportunities it presents. 

“We have an extraordinary opportunity to grow the size of our domestic space industry by up to $12 billion by 2030,” Minister Cash said. 

“This means up to 20,000 high-level jobs created across Australia.”

The Space Agency’s first priorities are to establish a charter for the agency and to develop an overarching strategy and investment plan for Australia’s space industry.

Dr Megan Clark AC is the interim head of the agency. Minister Cash said Dr Clark’s experience and respect – domestically and internationally – are great assets for the new agency. 

“I know Dr Clark is building a strong team around her, and is looking forward to engaging with industry, academia and each of the states and territories to grow this national endeavour,” Minister Cash said. 

For more information on the Australian Space Agency, go to space.gov.au

Media contact: Minister Cash's office 02 6277 3425