skip to Main Content

Minister announces new investment and updated space strategy

The Minister for Defence Industry and for Science and Technology, Melissa Price MP, announced at the 13thAustralian Space Forum on 3 March that the Australian government has awarded a $20 million Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) Collaboration Stream grant to Adelaide-based Fleet Space Technologies. The grant will enable the company to build a new manufacturing facility in Adelaide Airport’s Australian Space Park

The South Australian Government is also contributing $20 million towards the $66 million project which is expected to create 221 local jobs, as well as more than 1000 others indirectly.

The Federal and State funding will supplement industry investment into the Australian Space Park by Fleet Space Technologies, AT Space, Alauda and Q-CTRL.

The purpose-built facility will drive collaboration between Australia’s local space manufacturers to build innovative satellites and rockets and make South Australia the largest manufacturer of satellites in Australia.

Minister Price also made two other key announcements: the abolition of Partial Cost Recovery, where the government charges a fee for launch applications. This will let companies invest in the future with certainty and encourage more launches from Australia, says the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER).

“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,” said Minister for Defence Industry and for Science and Technology Melissa Price. “That is why we’re scrapping plans for launch application fees and making improvements to regulations.”

And the Government has tasked the Australian Space Agency with developing a unified, national Space Strategic Update (SSU) to align efforts across the nation through to the 2040s. It will give the government direction on future funding opportunities. It will also give the sector confidence to make longer-term investment decisions. Globally, the space sector is expected to grow from US$350 billion to US$1 trillion by 2040.

“The SSU will ensure that as we develop our sovereign space capability, we have the Australian businesses there ready to deliver it – from research and design through to manufacture,” said the Minister. “It will also give the whole-of-sector insight that we need as a Government to make decisions on future funding opportunities – and ensure the money we are spending across portfolios is complementary and not duplicated.”

The Australian Space Agency will engage across industry and government over the next 18 months to deliver the SSU, according to its Director, Enrico Palermo. It will also set up an expert advisory panel to guide the delivery of the SSU. The panel will include leaders from the space industry and academia.

Minister Price said this investment will help future-proof the space sector by making it more self-sufficient: “This project will lock in Australia’s ability to deliver along the entire space supply chain. From research and design through to manufacture and operation, Australia’s credentials as a leading space nation are going to be significantly strengthened by this investment.”

Back To Top