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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 April 2018) . . Page.. 1223 ..


Last year we marked another important milestone in Canberra’s space history with the opening of the Australian National Concurrent Design Facility for space missions at UNSW Canberra. The facility is the first of its kind in Australia and will be used by some of the best and brightest engineering and academic minds in the nation. This facility, combined with the Advanced Instrumentation Technology Centre at Mount Stromlo, provides that capability for the design, assembly and testing of spacecraft and components for future space missions. I still find it hard to believe that the fragile-looking box I saw on a tour of UNSW Canberra last year is now in orbit around our planet, doing its very important work. It gives me goosebumps just to think about that.

Australia is undoubtedly on the verge of a significant economic development opportunity in the space industry. Globally, the industry is worth over $440 billion and is growing at eight per cent a year. While the Australian space industry is estimated to be worth $3 billion to $4 billion annually in revenue, it is clear that with the right partnerships, investment and promotion we see the potential for real growth and success in our local market.

I welcome the federal government’s announcement of its intention to establish an Australian space industry and encourage it to act quickly to progress this. Inaction risks squandering opportunities for this growth industry. Canberra is undeniably the logical place for Australia’s national space agency to be located, and this facility will provide Canberra and Australia with the edge that we need to succeed in this competitive global market. Canberra hosts one of three NASA deep space network stations in the world, and Australia’s first laser range facility tracking space debris is also in the ACT.

As I have mentioned, thanks to the recent MOU between the ANU and UNSW Canberra, we have the ability to provide end-to-end design, manufacture, test and mission planning and design and control capability for Australia’s next generation of micro and small-scale satellites. Essentially, apart from an actual launch site, the ACT has everything for the national space agency to operate from, with a great mix of skills, expertise, capability and networks. The ACT government has taken a leadership role in establishing a national space agency, recognising that this is an opportunity which harnesses our economic strength as a knowledge capital and to grow the potential we are already realising in this field.

The government has been working together with the South Australian government and has signed an MOU to pursue economic opportunities in the space industry. This five-year agreement reflects both jurisdictions’ commitment to support Australia’s participation in the international space industry by bringing together our strengths and capabilities. I hope this work continues with the new South Australian government.

I would also like to take the opportunity to congratulate the Chief Minister on his work in driving this agenda through COAG and his work with other governments to support the development of an Australian space industry. As Ms Lawder’s motion makes clear, our city has had a long involvement with some of the biggest events in international space exploration. With the capable space industry sector in our city,


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