New space agency to be built in Australia

14 May 2018

Written by: Jessica Micallef

Australia's space industry is expected to soar to higher grounds with the development of a new agency.

Australia will see the development of a new space agency, which will aim to produce 20,000 new jobs in just over a decade.

The project, which will be Australia’s first space agency built, will grow the relatively small space industry the nation has.

Former CSIRO boss Megan Clark will today be formally named as the head of the Australian Space Agency for its first year of operations, and is excited to finally see Australia implanted into the space industry.

“You ask yourself, why are we doing that? And it’s really to improve the lives of all Australians and I think to inspire Australians and what Australia really can do in the space industry,” she said as reported by The ABC.

 The Federal Government completed a report that estimated the Australian space sector economy at a worth of $3.94 billion in the 2015-2016 financial year.

However, Dr. Clark is determined the “ambitious goal for Australia is to triple the size of its space industry by 2030 to $10-$12 billion, and increase its share of the global sector.”

While there is no decision yet as to where the new agency will be built, Dr. Clark is adamant Australia’s capital is the best logical location, though she is not ruling out any other states or territories as potential hubs for the agency.

“We need to engage internationally and also to coordinate nationally and part of that activity best to be centred in Canberra,” she said.

“One of the first jobs that the Minster has tasked me with is to visit the states and territories and really see how they can put their best foot forward to look at how we might have hubs of the agency in our states and territories.”

In this month’s federal budget by the Turnbull Government, $41 million has been dedicated to establishing the organisation, with Dr. Clark not yet ruling out the idea that Australia could be heading to the Moon.

“[It’s] A bit early to say that. I’m sure the Minister’s going to have my feet to the fire on making sure that we’ve got that investment program up and running in the short term, but we’ll keep you posted,” she said.