Labor will support and invest in the Australian Space Agency and the Australian space industry.
There is a new space race and Australia is lagging at the back of the field. Countries and companies are competing for a share of the rapidly growing space economy.
In Australia we have companies – big and small – ready to make their mark, and we have the people and the science ready to move the nation forward.
Globally, commercial space activities are growing by almost 10 per cent annually and now represent 76 per cent of the $420 billion global space economy. Australia’s share of it is only 0.8 per cent.
Our space sector is small, but the opportunities are limitless. At the moment the sector earns revenues of $3-4 billion per year and employs between 9,500 and 11,500 people.
Australia is one of the most space-dependent nations on earth. Without access to satellites and other space-based applications much of our economy and critical national infrastructure could grind to a halt.
Under Labor the Australian Space Agency will have a mandate over civil space activities to develop a strategic plan and help facilitate the growth of the Australian space sector and Australian space capabilities.
Labor’s Australian Space Industry Program will consist of:
· Four Australian Research Council (ARC) Space Industry Research Hubs to advance capabilities in emerging areas of industry-focused space research and technology.
· Two ARC Space Industry Training Centres working with industry in offering 25 industrial PhDs.
· An Australian Space Science and Industry Agency – announced in 2017 – to ensure that Australia does not miss out on the opportunities provided by the rapidly growing global space industry.
· A Space Industry Innovation Council to serve as an advisory board for the agency, develop an industry-wide agenda, and build international confidence.
· A Space Industry Supplier Advocate to open up opportunities for space industry companies, attracting investment and jobs.
· A Shorten Labor Government will also give priority to the establishment of a Co-operative Research Centre in advanced manufacturing and space technology in future funding rounds.