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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 7 Hansard (1 August) . . Page.. 2536 ..


Administration and Procedure—Standing Committee

Membership

MR WALL (Brindabella) (3.38): In accordance with standing order 223, I move:

That, notwithstanding the provisions of standing order 16, Mr Wall be discharged from the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure between 10 August and 16 August and that Mrs Dunne be appointed for that same period.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Australian Space Agency

Debate resumed.

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (3.38): I rise today to lend my support to this motion. I agree with my colleague Ms Cheyne that Canberra is of course the rightful permanent home for the Australian Space Agency. Canberra offers inter-industry, interdepartmental government support.

We have a strong history of science collaboration with the United States in particular, and we have our own history of stellar academic research via Tidbinbilla and Stromlo. I remember visiting both of these as a child. They were, at that time, absolutely wonderful places to be. I use the word "wonderful" in its original sense: a place of wonder. I mean, Mount Stromlo is there purely for people to wonder about the rest of the universe and what is there. Tidbinbilla was there largely for the same purpose.

Having an ACT-based space agency will not only mean repositioning Australia as a global leader in the space industry; there are, of course, a number of other benefits on a local level. Such a decision would create jobs, diversify existing businesses and departments and enable us to provide jobs so that STEM graduates can stay in the bush capital. For too long many of our best and brightest in this field have moved overseas for employment opportunities. We could offer these opportunities locally, and this would mean we could encourage even more of our young people to study STEM subjects. Placing the national Space Agency in Canberra will strengthen inter-industry and international partnerships. Canberra can and should be the hub of these collaborations, which will boost the economy and inspire our young people.

Space technologies have greatly improved our ability to understand our natural environment. Satellite remote sensing has provided major developments in natural disaster prediction, environmental science and climate change studies. All of us who are concerned with climate change will know that NASA, and James Hansen, was one of the early organisations that really told the world that climate change is real, is happening and is going to significantly impact us.

Space technology, while obviously being relevant to outer space, is clearly relevant to climate science. Satellites can record how the oceans are warming, in turn allowing


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