Page 2508 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 1 August 2018
answers to the beginning of time. It is, of course, space. For decades Canberra has been helping scientists around the world uncover the wonders of outer space. And this year we have had the great honour of establishing the Australian Space Agency, the first of its kind in our country.
Canberra has demonstrated that a space agency in Canberra is an effective, well-connected and high-performing space agency. We are best placed in all of Australia to be the national home for the Space Agency. We have the right workforce, the right partners and the right infrastructure to properly support this significant national institution. It is only right that Canberra becomes the permanent home of the Australian Space Agency.
The space industry, as members know, is undergoing exponential growth. It is currently worth around $420 billion per annum and is growing by 10 per cent each year. The cost of space exploration is dropping dramatically and more players are coming into this space. As with anything technology based, we are on the cusp of a new era. We can expect to see more developments in the space industry in the next few decades than we have seen in the whole of human history. There will be more developments in our knowledge of space and our technological capabilities in the next few decades than there have been in the whole of our history.
In short, it is a crucial time for Canberra to stand up and be counted in the space industry. Making Canberra the permanent home of the Australian Space Agency will be not only a strong move for the space industry but also a strong move for Canberra and Canberrans. This government is committed to partnering with the Australian Space Agency to ensure that the industry continues to create jobs for Canberrans.
At the outset, our city and our government have demonstrated how ready and willing we are to support the Australian Space Agency. In recent years we have made significant investments to stimulate space research and education right here in Canberra. This has included $375,000 to help establish the Australian concurrent design facility, which is uniquely placed to bring together industry, agencies and the research sector to rapidly design and validate the technical and economic viability of space missions. The facility is the only one of its kind in Australia and means that we now have the capability to develop space missions from start to finish.
To quote Professor Boyce from UNSW Canberra:
This is a world-class facility that will play an important role in the growth of jobs across the sector, including researchers, designers, engineers, technicians, software specialists and beyond.
We have provided $1 million over the past three years to leading education institutions in Canberra to strengthen our space sector, as well as $250,000 in funding to enable free access to the national space test facilities at Mount Stromlo. These investments will support the world-leading research underway in our universities and will ensure that our world-class facilities are available for all participants in the space industry. It does not stop there. We have committed to investing $9.75 million over the next three years in stimulus to innovative infrastructure projects under the priority