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SA and ACT join forces to launch national space agency

South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory have come together to advocate for the establishment of an Australian Space Agency.

Premier Jay Weatherill and ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr today signed a Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of their governments to work together towards the creation of a Canberra-based agency with a prominent presence in Adelaide.

The five-year agreement reflects both jurisdictions’ commitment to ensuring Australia can participate in the international space industry, which produces revenue of $420 billion annually.

The MoU also recognises that the successful growth and competitiveness of Australia’s space sector in a global economy depends on bringing together the strengths and capabilities found in all states and territories.

The signing of the MOU will help other jurisdictions join efforts in developing the national space industry, and compel the federal government to act on setting up an agency.

Defence SA worked closely with the ACT to develop the MoU after South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory presented a joint paper at the COAG Industry and Skills Council meeting in Canberra earlier this month. The paper outlined ways to expand the nation’s space industry through education, research and industry-led initiatives.

It is envisaged that an Australian space agency will act as a space industry coordinator and government investment advisor, and build capability that will ultimately grow the number of direct and indirect jobs in the sector.

Australia’s space industry accounts for around $3-4 billion of revenue each year and has up to 11,500 full time workers. Establishing an Australian space agency is set to increase that contribution to as much as $12-18 billion in just three years.

Adelaide will host the 68th International Astronautical Congress in September, providing the perfect opportunity to showcase South Australia as the nation’s leading state for space enterprise.

Image Caption: SA and the ACT are committed to the developing a space agency in Australia, and Adelaide will play a key part.

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