Doctor Megan Clark says the space industry represents an “outstanding opportunity” for Australia to create jobs and generate economic activity. She is the chair of the Expert Reference Group advising the federal government on the ideal setup of a national space agency.
The reference group, after consultations with industry will be delivering its first report on a charter and possible structure and scope for an Australian national space agency by March 2018.
Dr Clark says that the time is right for Australia to increase its investment in the space economy, estimated to be worth $335 billion in 2016. “There’s an outstanding opportunity to grow and diversify our economies through space and into these new growth sectors which have some very high growth rates and can provide jobs,” Dr Clark told delegates at the Securing Australia’s Space Industry Forum in Canberra on November 20.
She further mentioned, “We held consultations in every state and territory and received some 200 admissions, which again, are now all available publicly. And we have spoken to, or met, or reviewed some 75 startup companies, 36 established Australian companies, and some 26 large international companies based here in Australia.” Final caution has been expressed that, since the industry has been clear that in establishing the structure of the agency the continuity and clout has to be ensured.