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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 August 2018) . . Page.. 2509 ..


investment program. This funding will help foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in our city, building on what we already have, and will focus on technology-based enterprises, including the space industry.

We are lucky to have a Chief Minister who is cognisant of the growing significance of the space industry and is actively advocating for Canberra to maintain our role as the home of the national Space Agency. Our federal Labor colleagues are also supporting our city as the rightful place for the prime space policymaking agency in our country.

There are many reasons why Canberra is best placed to serve as the home of the Australian Space Agency. Key among them is the fact that Canberra is home to every major commonwealth stakeholder of the Space Agency except the Bureau of Meteorology. The primary purpose of the Space Agency is to coordinate policy between commonwealth departments and agencies, against a backdrop of complex international relationships and treaties. Indeed, the agency often consults and collaborates with a wide range of departments including Defence, DFAT and our national security agencies, as well as the Attorney-General’s Department, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Geoscience Australia and the CSIRO.

It is common sense that housing the Space Agency in Canberra will support close working relationships between staff at relevant departments and agencies, as well as giving the Space Agency better access to relevant ministers. I do not need to go on about why it is just so important, as we have debated on many occasions already that Canberra absolutely should be the home of the public service and we should continue to support that. This aligns so well with that.

It is also important to remember that space research and development do not happen in a silo. Space policy is inextricably linked to national security policy, and new space technologies are often deployed in the context of defence and intelligence projects. It makes sense, in these high-security environments, for these departments and agencies to be co-located, with ease of access between personnel.

Space exploration by its nature crosses national borders. Space exploration, and technology, is not, however, a lawless enterprise. It is governed by complex international treaties and relationships which are critical to keeping the peace between nations here on earth. As home to more than 80 embassies and high commissions, and with a great wealth of experience in international diplomacy and international treaty negotiation concentrated right here in Canberra, we are best placed to support this aspect of the Space Agency’s role.

Basing the Space Agency in Canberra not only creates opportunities for partnerships with the commonwealth government but also supports close working relationships with key academics and researchers in this space. The significance of potential partnerships between the national Space Agency and Canberra’s universities cannot be understated. I have already mentioned the nation-leading Australian national concurrent design facility at the University of New South Wales, Canberra. When you combine this with the ANU national space test facility, we are the only place in the


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