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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 18 September 2018) . . Page.. 3696 ..

Almost one in four Australian space industry jobs are already based in Canberra. We are the home of the next generation of researchers, engineers and scientists that will support the future growth of the space industry and a number of leading private companies already run their space operations from Canberra.

Back in 2015 the government identified the space industry as a priority sector to achieve economic diversification and growth in the region. Since then, the government has provided leadership in the national conversation to develop the national space industry, including a space agency, and has been active in collaborating with other states and territories.

We are proud of the many talented people and world-class facilities in Canberra that make a significant contribution not only to Australia’s space industry but also to our own knowledge economy. Going forward, the ACT government is committed to working with our local industry to strengthen Canberra’s space sector.

MS ORR: Minister, why is Canberra the natural home for the national space agency?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Orr for the question. I could say it is because we are the national capital—the home of national institutions—but there are many more reasons as well.

Our case rests on the fact that the Australian Space Agency is best served by the talent, resources and policy experience already located in Canberra, all presented within an exceptional space ecosystem, which means that you have a compelling case to permanently place the agency in Canberra.

We also have a significant and established space capability ecosystem, including an end-to-end capability for the design, test and manufacture of Australia’s next generation of micro and small-scale satellites using state-of-the-art facilities at ANU’s Space Test Facilities Centre and UNSW Canberra’s Space Mission Design Facility. ANU and UNSW Canberra are Australia’s most active higher education institutions in space-related disciplines. We are also home to one of three deep space communication facilities operated by NASA worldwide. CSIRO’s Centre for Earth Observation has just been headquartered in Canberra, and will be a catalyst for engagement with Australian businesses, government agencies and research organisations.

The Space Environment Research Centre located at Mount Stromlo, combined with EOS Space Systems, makes Canberra a leader in space situational awareness and debris monitoring. Geoscience Australia’s satellite-based augmentation system, national positioning infrastructure capability and digital earth are all managed in Canberra and supported by the national computational infrastructure at ANU, which recently received an additional $70 million in commonwealth funding. The innovative and strong space capabilities of our SMEs like EOS, SkyKraft, Equatorial Launch Australia, Geoplex, Geospatial Intelligence, Locata, Quintessence Labs and Liquid Instruments, as well as Canberra-based primes such as Lockheed Martin and the rest, means that there are clear advantages to having the agency based here. (Time expired.)

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