The Space Policy Unit within the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education has, in consultation with other Australian Government agencies, State and Territory Governments and the Australian Space Industry, developed a national space industry policy: Australia’s Satellite Utilisation Policy. The policy addresses Australia’s national goal in space: achieving on-going, cost effective access to the space capabilities on which we rely.
Space and Australia
Australia has a long history of involvement in space activities. 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:
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 communications 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 industry 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.
The link below provides more information about Australia’s space history.
Highlights of Australia’s Space History:
[PDF 295 KB] [RTF 232 KB]
Principles for a National Space Industry Policy
In 2011, the Australian Government released the Principles for a National Space Industry Policy. The Principles comprised the foundation and direction for the development of Australia’s Satellite Utilisation Policy.
Principles for a National Space Industry Policy:
[PDF 361 KB] [RTF 2050 KB]
Australia’s Satellite Utilisation Policy
Australia’s Satellite Utilisation Policy provides a vision for Australia’s use of space and space-related technologies including providing strategies to enable Australia to meet its national priorities through space and to ensure Australia meets its future space-related education and innovation needs.
Australia’s Satellite Utilisation Policy reflects the Principles for a National Space Industry Policy and reaffirms that Australian Government efforts will focus on:
Space applications that have a significant security, economic and social impact, specifically Earth Observation, Satellite Communications and Position, Navigation and Timing.
Ensuring resilient access to those space systems on which we rely now and to those important to our future national security, economic, environmental and social well-being.
Strengthening those relationships and cooperative activities on which Australia relies, and will continue to rely to a substantial degree, for space system capabilities.
Continuing to support rules-based international access to the space environment; promoting peaceful, safe and responsible activities in space.
Enhancing the coordination, understanding and strategic direction of Australia’s uses and approach to space.
Promoting collaboration between Australian public and private research and development organisations with industry in space-related activity, including space science, research and innovation in niche areas of excellence or national significance.
Ensuring Australia’s space capabilities will be used to enhance, and guard against threats to, our national security and economic well-being.
Further information on each of these principles is detailed in the policy which may be accessed below.
Australia's Satellite Utilisation Policy:
[PDF 1.3 MB] [DOCX 251 KB]
The development of this policy was informed by several reports into Australia’s international space activities and their international context. These reports are available through the links below:
A Review of Current Australian Space Activities: April 2010.
A Review of the International Space Landscape.
A Review of Current Australian Space Activities: May2011.
Assessing Australia’s Use of Space Products and Services: A Comparative Benchmarking Analysis.
The Economic Value of Earth Observation from Space.
Continuity of Earth Observation Data for Australia: Operational Requirements to 2015 for Lands, Coasts and Oceans.
Continuity of Earth Observation Data for Australia: Research and Development Dependencies to 2020.