Keeping Australia's space sector soaring

The Morrison Government is strengthening its commitment to making Australia a leading space nation in the region, with the introduction of a range of reforms and a unified and strategic path to shape the sector for the next two decades and beyond.

In a major win for small and medium-sized space businesses, fees for space launch applications will no longer be introduced after previously being deferred twice. 

The removal of the fees, which would have been imposed on businesses conducting domestic launch activities, will allow companies to invest with certainty and encourage more launches from Australia.

The change is part of a broader regulatory reform program that the Government has tasked the Australian Space Agency to undertake.

The Agency will also develop a Space Strategic Update, a vision through to the 2040s that will align efforts across the nation. 

It will provide direction to Government on future funding opportunities and give the sector confidence to make longer-term investment decisions that will fulfil our nation’s sovereign needs. 

Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price said the Morrison Government had taken on board industry feedback and was continuing to deliver necessary improvements.

“Our nation’s space sector has been on an incredible trajectory since we established the Australian Space Agency in 2018 and these new measures will see the sector rocket ahead even further,” Minister Price said.

“We know if the Australian space sector is going to keep growing at a rapid rate, then we need to ensure the conditions are right. That is why we’re scrapping plans for launch application fees and making improvements to regulations.

“We’ve also heard the feedback from industry that we need to better align efforts in the space sector. Through the Space Strategic Update, we will maximise investment and efforts to deliver for all Australians.

“Together these changes will give industry and investors further confidence in the Australian space sector as we look to deliver on our mission to triple the sector’s size to $12 billion and create up to an extra 20,000 jobs by 2030.”

Head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo said it was critical for the future of the local sector that our regulations are world-leading and our sector is more cohesive.

“The Australian Space Agency is providing the leadership for the sector to pull in the same direction, which will allow Australia to deliver on its full potential as an important player in the global space sector,” Mr Palermo said.

“The Space Strategic Update will address calls from across the sector for a more cohesive national space strategy. 

“We will enhance coordination of investments and strategies, whether that’s across states and territories, across government or between our science, civil and defence activities.

“Likewise we must ensure we have internationally competitive regulation that supports industry growth and entrepreneurship while ensuring public safety.”

The Australian Space Agency will engage across industry and government over the next 18 months to deliver the Space Strategic Update. 

It will include a schedule of space programs and investment opportunities for Government informed by the Australian Space Agency’s technical roadmaps.

More than $2.5 billion has been committed to civil space activities in Australia since 2018, including more than $800 million from the Australian Government.