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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 August 2018) . . Page.. 2510 ..

country where you can conceptualise, design, build, test and monitor spacecraft from start to finish.

As an example of its work, the concurrent design facility launched a miniature cube satellite late last year, which had been built here in Canberra. The satellite, called the Buccaneer, assists us to understand the JORN radar system, which is used to conduct air and maritime surveillance here in Australia. It also helps scientists to track the trajectories of space junk so space missions can avoid orbital collisions.

The concurrent design facility is currently developing three small spacecraft under a $10 million contract from the RAAF. It is the stuff of movies and it is happening. It is happening right here in Canberra. The ANU and UNSW Canberra also both have satellite operation capabilities, with ground station infrastructure to support satellite missions.

Canberra simply has the necessary infrastructure and workforce to complement the Australian Space Agency’s central role in the space industry in Australia and internationally. The fact is, one in four Australian space sector jobs are already here. We are home to major multinational companies that have an interest in the development of the Australian space economy, and significant commercial players such as EOS space systems, Geospatial Intelligence and Skykraft already have a presence here, and that is just a few of them.

Of course space research and development must be supported by significant ground infrastructure: infrastructure which Canberra already has. We have one of only three NASA deep space tracking stations in the world, with the other two located in Spain and the US. These tracking stations provide the vital communications gateway between the deep space craft and the mission teams on earth. We also have satellite ground stations and world-class facilities to monitor debris and avoid orbital collisions, undertake positioning and navigation projects, and conduct earth monitoring.

The space industry is already contributing to our local economy and creating jobs for Canberra and Canberrans. It is only going to continue growing. We are looking ahead to support the industry, with a skilled workforce pipeline already in place. We are bringing engaging, cutting-edge STEM education opportunities to our schools, thanks to the minister for education, to encourage and inspire the next generation of space scientists and professionals. Programs include the YMCA Canberra space squad to promote space careers to students in years 7 to 9, and the MSATT, which is Canberra’s first astronomical teaching observatory for school students. We also actively support new space enterprises within our entrepreneur outreach programs.

The space industry is moving forward faster than at any other time in history. It is a strong economic driver and is creating opportunities for Canberrans to work on world-leading, cutting-edge technologies right here in our city, in Canberra. This government is well aware of the potential of the space industry in our city. We are working hard to keep building the industry now and into the future, increasingly making it more attractive.

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