LABOR TO CREATE SPACE INDUSTRY JOBS

A Shorten Labor Government will create an Australian Space Industry Program to promote the development of the Australian space industry.

Labor will invest up to $35 million with additional co-investment coming from industry and university consortiums.

Labor’s Australian Space Industry Program will consist of:

  • Four Australian Research Council (ARC)  Space Industry Research Hubs, to advance capabilities in emerging areas of industry-focused space research and technology;
  • Two ARC Space Industry Training Centres working with Industry in offering 25 industrial PhDs.
  • An Australian Space Science and Industry Agency – announced last year - to ensure that Australia does not miss out on the opportunities provided by the rapidly growing global space industry;
  • A Space Industry Innovation Council – to serve as an advisory board for the agency, develop an industry wide agenda, and build international confidence;
  • A Space Industry Supplier Advocate – opening up opportunities for space industry companies, attracting investment and jobs and;
  • A Shorten Labor Government will also prioritise the establishment of a Co-operative Research Centre in advanced manufacturing and space technology in future funding rounds.

Labor wants to double the size of the Australian space industry, estimated to be worth $3-4 billion annually in revenues, within five years of the establishment of a space agency. This should create around 10,000 new high skill, high wage jobs in advanced manufacturing, research, earth observation and space technologies.

Australia depends on space more than any other country in the world. Space-based applications impact our everyday lives, for example:

  • Supermarkets provide fresh fruit and vegetables by using satellite navigation in their delivery fleets to optimise just-in-time deliveries. 
  • ATMs and other credit card applications’ authorisation processes depend on satellite based timing synchronisation. 
  • Keeping food prices low by using satellite-optimised flood irrigation to boost crop yields. 
  • Mobile phone conversations require synchronisation which comes from satellite time transfer.
  • Emergency and disaster relief response relies on specialised satellite imagery and communications because electrical power, cell phone towers and cables can all be damaged.
  • Adaption to climate change relies on space data.
  • Transport is being revolutionised today by artificial intelligence and autonomous and driverless vehicles relying on satellite navigation enhancements.

The Australian Space Industry Program will work alongside the suite of measures Labor announced last year:

  • The Australian Space Science and Industry Agency – which will drive investment and co-ordinate the activities of state governments, scientists, industry and universities to boost the opportunities the global space industry offers.
  • A Space Industry Innovation Council – to serve as an advisory board for the agency, develop an industry wide agenda, and build international confidence.
  • A Space Industry Supplier Advocate – opening up opportunities for space industry companies, attracting investment and jobs.

Australia is one of only two OECD nations without its own dedicated space agency.

And while the Liberals have been dragged into reluctantly agreeing to establish an Australian Space Agency, its budget, scope, mission and resourcing are as yet unknown, five months after the announcement.

THURSDAY, 15 MARCH 2018

All electoral communications authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra


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