The Space Policy Unit was announced in the 2009-10 Budget as part of the Australian Government’s $48.6 million Australian Space Science Program.
The Unit was established on 1 July 2009 in the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research as part of the Australian Government's response to the Senate Inquiry into the current state of Australia's Space Science and Industry Sector. On 15 December 2011, the Unit became a part of the newly established Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.
The Unit provides high-quality advice to the Government on civil space matters and has responsibility for delivering the Australian Space Research Program. Since its inception, it has established contact mechanisms to fulfil its mandate as the central point of contact and coordination for all of Australia’s national and international civil space activities.
The Unit has also been given a mandate to bring forward a National Space Industry Policy for consideration by Government. The policy will be comprehensive and cover civil as well as defence matters. It will address how Australia uses space to tackle climate change, weather forecasting, natural resource management, forestry and agriculture, disaster management, national security.
The policy will focus on the three core areas of satellite communications, Earth observation and remote sensing, and position navigation and timing applications. It will also articulate Australia’s engagement and participation on the global stage.
Further information on the Australian Space Science program, including the work of the Unit, is available in the PowerPoint presentation which can be downloaded below.
View Document: to view the complete version of this document, download:
The Australian Space Science Program.ppt
Space and Australia
The Australian Government recognises that space technologies and expertise provide enabling infrastructure for a prosperous Australia. Public and private services associated with space technologies enable much of our day-to-day life, such as:
- Personal position, navigation and timing (PNT) services, including satnavs, GPS enabled phones and mapping services like Google Earth, are becoming increasingly central to personal navigation and planning
- Commercial precision PNT services enable critical capabilities that underpin Australia’s economic security, such as air and road transport of goods, precision agriculture, and natural resource identification and management
- Earth observation services help us understand climate change and monitor large-scale phenomena such as the El Niño, weather prediction, droughts, forest fires, and urban development, enabling long term Government and social planning
- Satellite communication technologies, including broadband, enable Australian citizens and companies to conduct essential business and access critical services such as emergency transport.
Given the critical nature of these services and technologies, Government leadership and investment in national space policy serves to provide public good and economic benefit to all Australians.
Globally, the international space sector is growing rapidly with increases in both Government and commercial budgets, with more countries making active contributions through national space programs.
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If you have a query relevant to the Department or problems accessing an attached file, please contact the Space Policy Unit.