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New initiatives to support the development of Australia’s civil space sector

Australia's civil space sector

Two significant initiatives announced today by the Morrison Government will help to cut launch costs and open the door to increased collaboration with big US corporations, to turbocharge growth in Australia’s civil space sector.

Australia and the United States will begin negotiations on a bilateral Technology Safeguards Agreement, building on more than 60 years of space cooperation. For another year, the government is deferring the implementation of partial cost recovery for applications submitted under the Space (Launches and Returns) Act 2018.

Christian Porter, the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, stated that the Technology Safeguards Agreement will establish guidelines under which US corporations can partner with Australian companies on local launch projects while knowing that critical US technology and data will be safeguarded.

“The Government is considering how this opportunity could further enhance space collaboration and protect the movement of sensitive technologies and goods with one of our closest allies while retaining flexibility for our local industry to continue to grow and providing new opportunities for Australian space businesses,” Minister Porter said.

Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Minister for Women stated that both countries are committed to furthering space cooperation and responsibly monitoring the transportation of sensitive technologies and materials.

“Since Australia’s assistance for the Apollo moon landings more than 50 years ago, the United States and Australia have maintained an enduring space alliance. The United States has the world’s largest commercial space sector, and Australia is dedicated to strengthening our cooperation, including supporting NASA’s objective to land the first woman and next man on the Moon, according to Minister Payne.

Businesses can continue to apply for space operations such as launches without having to pay an application fee thanks to the fee deferral. These policies will be in effect until July 1, 2022, to encourage launch activity as well as sustained investment and expansion in the broader space sector.

“In space exploration, the United States and Australia share a longstanding, close, and strong partnership. These talks provide new chances for our countries to collaborate and expand the Australian space industry through space cooperation,” Mr. Palermo said. “By deferring fees for another year, we will be able to expand the sector, notably our
domestic launch capability.”

The Australian Space Agency, based in Adelaide’s Lot Fourteen space park, celebrated its third birthday today. By 2030, the Agency’s goal is to increase the size of Australia’s civil space sector and create up to 20,000 new jobs.

Since the formation of the Australian Space Agency in 2018, the Australian government has invested more than $700 million in the country’s civil space sector.

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