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Space regulation prepares Australia for lift-off

Launching into space and returning to Earth has been given a boost thanks to the latest regulatory changes to Australia’s space legislation.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the updated regulatory framework is part of the Government’s plan to triple the size of the space sector, add another $12 billion annually to the economy by 2030, and create 20,000 new jobs.

“After talking to industry and the public, the Government has revised space legislation to remove unnecessary barriers to participation in our space industry,” Minister Andrews said.

“It gives industry the ability to be bold and explore new opportunities, while ensuring the safety of space activities and making sure international obligations are met.”

Dr Megan Clark AC, Head of the Australian Space Agency said the updated framework is a vital step to grow the space industry.

“The way we interact with space is changing, and there has been a rapid transformation of the sector in recent years,” Dr Clark said.

“By updating the regulatory framework, we are improving Australians’ access to space, while continuing to uphold our strong values to ensure safety of activities on Earth and in space.

“These reforms ensure that Australia's space regulation accommodates technological advancements and does not unnecessarily inhibit innovation in Australia’s space capabilities.”

Under the newly named Space (Launches and Returns) Act 2018, the updated regulatory framework now includes launches from aircraft in flight, and provides for launches of high power rockets. It streamlines approvals processes and adjusts the insurance requirements to appropriate risk levels for launches and returns. The rules provide clear information to applicants on requirements for Australian space activities and launch of high power rockets.

To enable a transition period for the industry, updated rules for high power rockets are due to commence on 30 June 2020. Provisions for fees under the Act are still under consideration, and no fees are currently applicable. 

The Government established the Australian Space Agency in July 2018 and is investing $73.2 million to support the Agency to grow and transform the sector.

Further information on the updated framework can be found at space.gov.au  

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