Australia to launch its first space agency

Australia is set to establish its first space agency.

The development comes after much lobbying from figures in the local space tech industry, including Australian NASA astronaut Andy Thomas, which in July led to a government review to assess the viability of setting up a space agency.

Australia is one of only two OECD countries without such an organisation.

“We need a national agency that speaks for the country and with ministerial authority. Without that Australia is doomed to be forever dependent on other nations for its space-related security, its space-related economy, its space-related defense and its space-related environmental assessments,” Thomas said earlier this year.

Although the review by the Expert Reference Group is still ongoing, after “overwhelming” feedback the Turnbull government has now decided to commit to establishing an agency.

“The global space industry is growing rapidly and it’s crucial that Australia is part of this growth,” acting minister for industry, innovation and science Michaelia Cash said on Monday.

“The agency will be the anchor for our domestic coordination and the front door for our international engagement.”

The Expert Reference Group, chaired by former CSIRO Chief Dr Megan Clark, will now focus on writing a charter for the new agency as a part of its report to be handed down March next year. Read more

Tony Yoo - Business Insider Australia - 25 Sep 2017

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