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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 August 2018) . . Page.. 2511 ..

A key part of that is of course keeping the Australian Space Agency right here in Canberra. I think all the arguments that I have gone through over the past 12 or so minutes have outlined it very clearly. To put it simply, it is common sense to have the central space policy agency here in the nation’s capital. Only in Canberra can the Space Agency have such close ties with key government departments and agencies, research institutions and private space industry businesses, where we have the existing workforce and a workforce coming through.

So I call on everyone in this Assembly to continue to reinforce to their federal colleagues at every opportunity that Canberra plays a vital role in supporting Australia’s space industry and for that reason is the rightful national home of the Australian Space Agency.

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (12.15): I thank Ms Cheyne for outlining the importance of Canberra to Australia’s growing space industry, and I thank her for bringing the motion forward today. We were very pleased last week to launch the ACT’s proposition for making Canberra the permanent home of the Australian Space Agency. As has been mentioned, this represents a significant next step in the development of the industry for our nation, noting the very significant role that Canberra already plays, with around one in four Australian space industry jobs based in our city.

It was pleasing that the initial home for the national agency is Canberra, and we are very pleased to continue our work with the next generation of researchers, engineers and scientists who will support the future growth of the industry not just here in Canberra but across Australia. That capability combined with our world-class research and higher education institutions and the very close links to the commonwealth government that have been outlined this morning make Canberra the natural home for the Australian Space Agency.

Our pitch is compelling: we are already home to the key national and international policymakers, research institutions, government agencies, diplomatic networks, and thriving technology, IT and engineering companies. The territory government will continue to actively support the growth of the space, cyber and defence sectors in Canberra. These will be critical job and growth-creating industries for our city over the coming decade.

We have been working at this for some time now. Well in advance of the Australian government’s announcement of the creation of an Australian space agency, we entered into a memorandum of understanding with the South Australian and Northern Territory governments to grow the space sector nationally. We recognised the need to work across the Australian states and territories to provide the best possible outcome for the Australian industry in what is an intensely internationally competitive area.

There is a degree of uncertainty at the moment about the agency’s permanent location and this has led to some unfortunate jockeying between states and territories which has distracted from the collaborative effort we all need to be part of to achieve the

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