Australia’s first national space mission central to budget 2022-23

April 20, 2022

Harnessing science and technology will deliver a strong economy with more jobs.

space industry

The Australian Government is establishing Australia’s first ever national space  mission as part of a plan for a stronger future. This is an historic investment that will strengthen Australia’s sovereign capability as well as grow the sector and create hundreds of new jobs. 

The 2022-23 Budget includes $1.16 billion to 2038-39 and $38.5 million per annum  ongoing for the first phase of a National Space Mission for Earth Observation, which  will see Australia design, build, and operate four new satellites. 

Led by the Australian Space Agency, this Mission will make Australia more  self-sufficient when it comes to critical Earth Observation data, while also growing  capability and job opportunities that will set the industry up for future success. 

Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price said this was the most significant  investment ever made in Australia’s civil space sector. 

“The information we get from Earth observation satellites is central to our everyday  life – from forecasting the weather and responding to natural disasters through to  managing the environment and supporting our farmers,” Minister Price said.  

“This investment reinforces the Government’s commitment to growing  space capability here at home so we can remain safe and secure, and create  important economic opportunities. 

“This in an investment both for the now and the future of the Australian space sector.  

“Developing and launching these first four Australian satellites will create the  foundation of industry know-how for more complex space missions next decade. That means more expertise and more jobs right here in Australia in this critical  industry.

“It will also solidify our relationships with like-minded countries so we can continue to  draw on the data from their satellites for the benefit of all Australians.” 

It is estimated the project will create more than 500 jobs over the first four years of  the build phase, with an anticipated supplier network of more than 100 companies  from across Australia.  

The National Space Mission will be led by the Australian Space Agency in  partnership with Geoscience Australia, CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology and  Defence

The Budget also includes: 

∙ $65.7 million over five years from 2021-22 to set the conditions for rocket  launch from Australia and fast track the launch of space assets and research  projects by Australian businesses and researchers; 

∙ $12.1 million over five years from 2021-22 (and $0.3 million per year ongoing)  to remove cost recovery requirements under the Space (Launches and  Returns) Act 2018 and undertake a regulatory reform program to streamline  interactions with industry; 

∙ $9.5 million over two years from 2021-22 to develop a Space Strategic  Update to provide direction on future funding opportunities and align  Australia’s space efforts; 

∙ $3.0 million in 2022-23 to extend the International Space Investment initiative  and continue building relationships with international space agencies; and 

∙ $25.2 million to expand the International Space Investment initiative and  provide funding for Australian businesses and research organisations to work  on projects with the Indian Space Research Organisation and the broader  Indian space sector. 

This funding takes the total amount committed by the Government to the civil space  sector to well over $2 billion since the Coalition Government established the Australian Space Agency in 2018. 

That is in addition to the $85.9 million the Morrison Government has committed to  space industry skills and jobs right here in Australia as part of the $1.3 billion Modern  Manufacturing Initiative.  

It’s part of the Government’s commitment to triple the size of the space sector by  2030 to $12 billion and create an extra 20,000 new jobs. 

The Budget also includes $37.4 million to 2025-26 to establish a new CSIRO Research Translation Start program to build further cooperation between our  researchers and industry and supercharge their commercialisation journeys. 

The Government is investing $63.6 million to 2025-26 and $1.5 million per annum ongoing to further support the important work of the Australian Institute of Marine  Science (AIMS), including funding to remediate AIMS’ wharf at Cape Cleveland,  south of Townsville, Queensland. 

Minister Price said the Government recognised the incredible role science and  technology played in changing lives and creating new industries, and this investment  was further proof of their importance. 

“We are harnessing science and technology to help our businesses commercialise  their great ideas and create the high-value jobs for Australians which we need for the  future.” 

Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price

“This Budget demonstrates that we are not only shooting for the stars, but also  securing our future prosperity here at home through the Morrison Government’s  economic recovery plan.” 

The Budget also includes:  

∙ $33.4 million over two years from 2021-22 (including $14.4 million in capital  funding) to the National Measurement Institute to deliver essential  measurement standards and services that underpin business continuity and  international trade; 

∙ $5.3 million over two years from 2021-22 to improve the National Science and Technology Council’s provision of science and technology advice to the  Government and to continue support of the Prime Minister’s Prizes for  Science event; 

∙ $4.7 million over four years from 2022-23 to continue support for the Women in STEM Ambassador initiative and the Future You national digital  awareness-raising initiative; and 

∙ $2.0 million over four years from 2021-22 to extend the Superstars of STEM  Program, to continue raising the profile of Australian women in STEM and  inspire the next generation. 

This year’s Budget builds on the Government’s investments of $12 billion for  science, research and innovation related programs and activities in 2020-21 and  $11.8 billion in last year’s Budget – the two largest ever single annual investments  for the sector.  

Alongside this investment, there are a number of specific initiatives the Government  has committed to across the sector, including:  

∙ $42.4 million to grow the pool of women in STEM by providing up to 500  university scholarships, co-funded with industry. 

∙ More than $450 million in funding for CSIRO to ensure the continuation of  critical scientific research in a range of priority areas. 

∙ More than $530 million from 2019-20 to 2024-25 for a wide range of ANSTO  activities, including research, nuclear medicine production, asset  maintenance and waste management. 

∙ $124 million to make Australia a world leader in artificial intelligence through the AI Action Plan.  

∙ More than $387 million in funding to meet Australia’s commitments as co-host  of the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope.

The 2022-23 Budget is securing Australia’s future prosperity and helping our industries to grow by harnessing science and technology to deliver a strong  economy with more jobs.

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