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Doorstop – Space Science & Space Industry Conference

30 September 2019

Interviewer: 
Journalists

Subject: Space Science & Space Industry Conference, 8th Space Forum, NASA Moon to Mars program

E&OE

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews held a doorstop with South Australian Premier Steven Marshall.

Steven Marshall: Well look, quite frankly the stars are aligning for South Australia, and job creation in the space sector. Today we have our 8th Space Forum in Adelaide. It’s almost a sell-out, almost a thousand people in Adelaide, because everybody is excited about the job opportunities, the future opportunities of space. Wasn’t that long ago that Australia announced that we would have the Australian Space Agency. In fact, it was announced right here in Adelaide in 2017. Fast forward now, and there is just a massive global interest in what Australia is doing and of course what South Australia is doing.

Since the announcement we've seen an explosion in the number of start-up companies operating in the space sector in South Australia, and now increasingly we're seeing global players come to South Australia to set up operations. I'm absolutely delighted to announce that Tyvak, a global pioneer in space technology miniaturisation, is coming to Adelaide. They’re going to be based on Lot Fourteen as they establish their presence in South Australia to build nano-satellites right here, right here in South Australia. And this is just one example of the growing global interest in the opportunities that space presents.

I’m now going to hand over to Karen Andrews, who is a very excited person because she really - I think you've got the best ministry in the entire Federal Government.

Karen Andrews: Absolutely.

Steven Marshall: It really is an exciting time for Australia, especially with the most recent visit of our Prime Minister to the US. So ladies and gentlemen, I introduce Karen Andrews.

Karen Andrews: Thank you very much, Premier Marshall. It's a very great pleasure to be back here in South Australia to talk all things space. Now, over the last weekend the Prime Minister, during his trip to the United States, announced that Australia would be committing $150 million to join NASA on its mission to the moon and beyond to Mars. Now to be clear, the $150 million is for Australian businesses and organisations to join NASA on their trip to the moon. This is not money that will be going to NASA. We as a Government are very committed to growing the economy and specifically growing jobs in Australia. Space is an emerging industry sector that the Australian Government is particularly serious about.

So, currently space in Australia is worth about $4 billion and employs 10,000 people. We will be growing that to $12 billion and an additional 20,000 people by 2030. The $150 million that we are investing to go to the moon and beyond will be used to develop our capabilities in a wide range of areas, including automation and robotics, satellite technology, communications, Earth observation, and importantly – health. So we have considerable expertise in those areas, and we are able to demonstrate that to NASA and to other space agencies. And by doing so, we will be further developing our capability and making sure that Australian technology is part of the space race, be it to the moon, to Mars, or beyond.

So today's forum is about bringing together like-minded people who are wanting to grow Australia's space sector. We want to develop jobs in this country, we want to develop the skills and the technologies that Australia needs for the future. And today's forum is an ideal opportunity to do that.

Question: Data from the Stockholm Institute suggests Australia is falling behind in the rankings for weapons exporters. Is the Government confident that Australia can become a top ten nation within a decade?

Karen Andrews: Well, defence related matters should be directed to the Defence Minister, but if I can comment more broadly on Australia’s global place, particularly in the innovation sector, we are very conscious of making sure that we are doing all that we can to build innovative businesses here in Australia, but of course being very much aware that innovation is not just about start-ups. Innovation is a key part of all of our businesses. Now, what we need do is make sure that we are growing opportunities in Australia for innovative young businesses working globally and I will continue to do that, particularly in the space sector.

ENDS