A call for an Australian space agency

Australia is one of the few major industrialized countries without a space agency. And now a report by an Australian Senate committee recommends changing that. The report, “Lost in Space? Setting a new direction for Lost in Space? Setting a new direction for Australia’s space science and industry sector”, was released this week by the Senate’s economic committee, after several months of study, including several hearings. The report reviews various space applications and activities and notes that, in general, Australia’s participation in space activities is not well-coordinated among government agencies and other organizations. Some key recommendations:

The committee notes that Australia is the only OECD country without a national space agency and, as a consequence is missing out on opportunities to engage in this important area of innovation and technology… The committee recommends that immediate steps are taken to coordinate our space activities and reduce our over reliance on other countries in the area of space technology.


The committee notes the various models of space agency within the OECD and emerging economies and supports Australia having a space agency. The committee recommends initially establishing a Space Industry Advisory Council comprising industry representatives, government agencies, defence, and academics. The committee recommends that the advisory Council be chaired by the Minister for Innovation Industry Science and Research or his representative.

2 comments to A call for an Australian space agency

  • History may not repeat, but it certainly rhymes.

    As a member of the committee which developed the “Chapman Report” which was briefly mentioned in the document you linked to (and which landed with a resounding thud on the steps of parliament, to be stamped “rejected”), i’m not terribly surprised by yet another attempt by the Aussies to get another movement going to start Down Under NASA….

    I wouldn’t hold my breath, though. If you read through the arguments (space builds character?!? Really, is that the best they could come up with?) it’s hard in a recessionary environment to get a government to open up it’s budget to yet another mouth to feed… Bruce Middleton had recommended $50m back in the 90s – i don’t see that necessarily happening in this day and age, even with a different government in power.

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