Australia could soon have its own space agency

Australia could soon have its own space agency
Australia is set to enter the space industry with the Government announcing a review into the country’s space capabilities.

The review will be led by an expert group chaired by former CSIRO chief executive Dr Megan Clark AC.

According to government figures, the space industry sector has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of close to 10 per cent from 1998 to 2015.

That’s more than three times the annual growth rate of world GDP in the same period. Globally, revenue from space-related activities in 2015 was about US$323 billion.

The review will look at gaps that could support the global competitiveness of Australian firms in the civil space sector, strategies that would promote Australian firms in the civil space sector, both domestically and internationally, and alignment with other sectors and Australian Government priorities, including Defence and cyber security.

The review should be completed by the end of March 2018.

Industry minister Arthur Sinodinos said the review was timely given the international changes in the space industry and advances in technology.

“It’s about creating new businesses, it’s about creating new jobs,” Senator Sinodinos told SBS.

“Building on existing strengths, finding areas where we could be world-beating.”

Senator Sinodinos also acknowledged there had been calls for a space agency.

“We’re having a close look at that,” he said.

“We’ll also look in that context what is the best way to bring policy together – is it through a space agency, a national space office, and what does that mean in practice?”

Australia is only one of two OECD nations without its own space agency.

 



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