DR MEGAN CLARK AC, HEAD OF AUSTRALIAN SPACE AGENCY: Thank you very much, Prime Minister, and what a fantastic day, the opening of our headquarters here in Adelaide in South Australia, serving the nation and taking us into space and back into space. We are absolutely thrilled and we’re you’re standing is got to be mission control and a discovery centre for the people of Australia. We're going to open our mission control, probably the first in the world, that people will be able to come in and see what's happening in space and what we're doing. Prime Minister, we're thrilled. We are really excited about the growth that we're seeing in this sector all around the country and for people here in South Australia.
PRIME MINISTER: Thank you very much. Premier?
THE HON. STEVEN MARSHALL MP, PREMIER OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Thank you, Prime Minister. Our space odyssey continues. An historic day for South Australian, historic day for Australia. A great day for Australia with the opening by the Prime Minister of the Australian Space Agency right here in Adelaide on Lot Fourteen. This is really becoming a centre of international respect with the Australian Space Agency, the Smart Satellite CRC, the largest space-related research project in the history of Australia, the Australian Institute for Machine Learning and much, much more. We're so excited about this project because of the jobs that it is going to create in the future. And we've already seen a massive uptake and rollout of new SMEs, start-ups, scale-ups in the space sector and this is going to create thousands and thousands of jobs. We are so excited about the federal government's ambition for space-related jobs and the massive ambition to accelerate this over the next decade. And Adelaide is right at the epicentre of this ambition.
PRIME MINISTER: Thank you, Premier, thank you, Steven. And thank you, Dr Clark and Karen Andrews, the Minister for Space. The Minister for Industry, Science and Technology. This is a plan for jobs. This is why I'm here today. This is about jobs. Since we were first elected, more than 1.5 million jobs have been created in Australia by the hard work and effort and investment that has gone into our economy, creating jobs, creating futures for Australians all across the country. At the last election I said we were going to create more jobs, another 1.25 million jobs and 20,000 of those jobs are going to be here in the space industry. A space industry that is growing faster than the global economy, faster than our regional economy. This is an industry that is generating good wage jobs, career jobs, future jobs. Kids who are growing up and going through and doing STEM courses today and those who will be in the future. People of all ages finding opportunities. There’s a company here in South Australia called XTEK, they used to make carbon components for cars, then they started doing it in the defence industry as a result of significant investments we're putting in the defence industry and now they're doing it in the space industry. That's why this is important. We put $600 million into developing the space industry here in Australia. Headquartered in South Australia, where as you can see, you get the critical mass of all the government operators coming together and creating this hub for innovation, this hub for taking the space industry forward. But more importantly, that draws together the private investment that is going to make this industry what it can be here in Australia. And that private investment by small entrepreneurs, those smaller companies, those SMEs, but also large companies as well, investments and technology coming from overseas and the partnerships that have been formed with the space agency and so many others around the world, not the least, of course, being NASA with our Moon to Mars mission and our participation in what is an incredibly exciting mission.
But at the end of the day, as exciting as space is, it's about the jobs in space that really matters, the jobs that are actually going to be generated, that are going to boost the livelihoods and the incomes of Australians, whether here in South Australia or elsewhere right across the country. So we're excited to be here today. And the plan that you have there is our space plan is a plan for jobs. And that's why I'm excited to be opening this today. We're very pleased to be taking this initiative forward. It's one of so many, whether it's been in defence industries or other parts of the economy, where Karen Andrews is leading that charge. We're ensuring that we're staying ahead, that we're involved in the industries that are going to drive the global economy into the future and that we’re well placed for that and not just for the sake of today's economy and the challenges we face today, but ensuring that we’re well set-up here for the future. So I want to congratulate the Premier on his great leadership here, the Lot Fourteen development, which was perfectly situated, perfectly designed to accommodate our ambitions for the space industry to bring this all together here. I want to congratulate Dr Megan Clark and all of the team of the space agency and all the other government agencies that have been involved, the CRC, CSIRO, everyone else who has been part of this tremendous initiative and to you, Minister, Karen, thank you so much for your passion for this. She is our resident nerd in cabinet when it comes to this issue and that's a good thing because we need more of that because they go on to be astronauts and they go on to do all sorts of amazing things and enliven the imaginations of Australians all across the country. So well done, Karen, for your tremendous passion on bringing this together here with Megan on time, on budget. And we launched. Karen?
THE HON. KAREN ANDREWS MP, MINISTER FOR INDUSTRY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Thank you, Prime Minister. And you're absolutely right, space does bring out the inner nerd in which I'm really quite, quite proud of. I mean, who doesn't get excited about space and the wonderful opportunities not just to look at what's happening in space and to be part of the NASA mission to the moon and beyond to Mars. But all the great things that can come from space that help us in our everyday lives. So many of you would have used GPS to get here today, you would use GPS on a daily basis, most likely. That's the information that comes from space. That's the things that we need to focus on, how we're going to make life easier for everyday Australians, for our businesses, for farmers, for our producers. We’ll be looking at how we can harness all of the technology to make sure that we are better prepared for the next bushfire season. We'll be looking at earth observations. We'll be looking at what our terrain is showing. There are so many fabulous things out there that are part of space and we intend to capture each and every one of those of amazing things. Currently, the space industry in Australia employs about 10,000 people and is worth about $3.9 billion. The plan that we have in place that we're currently implementing will grow the space industry here in Australia to triple in size to $12 billion and to employ an additional 20,000 people by 2030. The occupations are very diverse. We will, of course, have astrophysicists, we’ll have scientists, we’ll have engineers, we’ll have electricians, we’ll have shift workers. So there are a whole range of jobs that are out there. The Australian space agency has led the charge. The Premier, Steven Marshall, has done an outstanding job here in South Australia. He has been supporting the growth of his sector here from day one. Quite frankly, the Prime Minister, as you've heard, is absolutely supportive and backing the Australian space industry. And of course, whilst we’ve headquartered the Australian Space Agency here in Adelaide, we are working with every state and territory to make sure that we take all of Australia on this amazing journey with us, whether it's talking to Western Australia about robotics, whether we're talking about a launch potentially in Queensland, we already have, the amazing business, Gilmore Technologies that are looking at launch and test rockets. There is something for every state and territory here in Australia. So the Australian Space Agency is well and truly open for business. The Australian space industry has already lifted off. So, Prime Minister, with the greatest respect to you, there is only one thing left to say, and that is beam us up, Scotty.
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, would you see a possibility, the Minister has mentioned launch facilities in Queensland. Would you see Woomera at any point reactivated for this program?
PRIME MINISTER: Well, look, you wouldn't expect me to comment on the operations of Woomera, but I mean, last night I was speaking to some of the Korean investors and they're talking about launch capacities here in South Australia. So really, with space, the sky's not the limit. It's bigger than that. And the interest, because of our coordinated and concerted focus on bringing the space industry here together in South Australia, that attracts the ideas. This is how these industries grow. They get a roll-on, they get a critical mass. And when you get a critical mass and incredibly clever, talented people, then it grows from there. And South Australia is well-positioned. So wherever that might be, there are no possibilities that really can't be pursued when you get the capital, the private sector working together with the government sector, including the risk managers upstairs, who I also met to ensure that that's all done according to [inaudible]. That's really important. And so it is a consolidated, coordinated effort and that's what attracts the investment and that's what sees things like that launch off the ground.
JOURNALIST: Dr Clark, how does the space agency headquarters look here in Adelaide? How many staff do you have at the moment and do you expect that to increase over time?
DR MEGAN CLARK AC, HEAD OF AUSTRALIAN SPACE AGENCY: So we're committed to we have 20 people here. We've got 19, we've got one more to go. So even on opening day, we are almost full up there. What's important is that this is now a door that we can showcase when we have our international visitors. Yesterday, the Italian space agency generously provided us a payload capacity on the International Space Station. So opening that door internationally with the countries, the United Kingdom, with France, with what we're doing with NASA on Moon to Mars. This is an important role for the Australian space agency and having headquarters such as this where we can show off and showcase what we're doing here and these things are fantastic. When we finish the Discovery Centre and the Mission Control, it gives us wonderful credentials to form those partnerships and welcome the partnerships that we will need to be able to go to space. We absolutely depend on national and international partnerships to achieve our purpose of transforming and growing the Australian space industry.
JOURNALIST: Are those jobs a maximum or are you planning on employing more people?
DR MEGAN CLARK AC, HEAD OF AUSTRALIAN SPACE AGENCY: At the rate we're going and we're growing. So we’ve just brought Australians back from overseas. So Catherine and Campbell coming from overseas, they’ve had wonderful experience internationally. Now coming back, looking after our roadmaps into the future, looking after our Moon to Mars projects. So these are the kind of jobs we’re creating. The Prime Minister met our risk officers, so I'm very engaged in making sure we're safe on Earth, that we're safe getting into space, we're safe in space and we are safe coming back home. So these are the sort of jobs that we are providing here in Adelaide and creating.
JOURNALIST: And last time we spoke, you didn't intend on moving to Adelaide. Have you changed your mind and if not, how are you run the space agency if you're not here at the headquarters?
DR MEGAN CLARK AC, HEAD OF AUSTRALIAN SPACE AGENCY: The team runs the space agency and then they run me. So that's the way it works. We have an absolutely fabulous team. I'm truly delighted. I live in Melbourne, I turn left to Adelaide, straight-ahead for Perth, right for Canberra. Little bit off-centre for Darwin and hard-left for Tasmania. So we're a national agency and also I need to be international as well, so opening those doors internationally. So on any given day, I'm not even sure where I am, but I love being here. I love swimming out at Glenelg every morning. It's a wonderful home for us and I'm really, really thrilled, really thrilled, and so is the team to have such wonderful headquarters here in Adelaide.
JOURNALIST: In terms of this space here, when is this expected to be complete in terms of the Mission Control Centre and the Discovery Centre?
DR MEGAN CLARK AC, HEAD OF AUSTRALIAN SPACE AGENCY: So we have gone out and consulted around the country to get submissions in. Those submissions, I think, closed last night at five o'clock. We will work through those and work through those partnerships for mission control. We're partnering with Questacon, who you would be familiar with, for the Discovery Centre and Questacon is working with us and others to build a discovery centre. What will be unusual is the mission control will be right here and we will have glass at the back so that people can come in off the street and see what we are doing. No other agency has opened their mission control up in that way. And we want kids and people to be out to see what's happening on the lunar surface, to be able to see what's happening in real-time on the lunar orbit and eventually to be able to come in and say, I wonder what's happening on Mars today and come in and see people in action. And I think that will inspire them to take up jobs, maybe try a little bit harder in their maths and English and try and get those jobs.
JOURNALIST: Premier, do think that mission control, as amazing as it's just been described, can be the remedy that the hit our tourism has taken from the coronavirus and the bushfires?
THE HON. STEVEN MARSHALL MP, PREMIER OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Look, there's no doubt that people are absolutely fascinated by space and having mission control here in South Australia, having the Space Discovery Centre here in South Australia, I think will not only captivate the people in our state, but bring people from interstate and overseas. There is massive global interest in the space sector. There's a lot of people who go to Houston each year just to take a look at the fantastic facilities. And we want to be able to develop something in South Australia which is really going to be of global significance.
JOURNALIST: And what part of the hospital was this?
THE HON. STEVEN MARSHALL MP, PREMIER OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA: We are in the McEwen Building. So I'm not sure what was in the McEwen Building. But three years ago, this was a functioning hospital. We're so grateful that we've had this opportunity right in the heart of our city, seven hectares, we've been able to transform the adaptive reuse of this building. And I can also say that we're now out in the market for further 30 to 40 thousand square metres behind these buildings as we further demolish the old buildings on this site. This is really going to become a great centre to attract people from various disciplines here: space, defence, cyber, machine learning, blockchain, ag-tech, creative industries, all centred on this site. And I think that the spontaneous interactions across disciplines will create something very unique, very unique for Adelaide and quite frankly, unique in the world.
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, thank you. Prime Minister, just speaking of jobs, it would be remiss if we didn't ask the progress of submarine maintenance jobs and where they’re going to end up. Six months ago asked the same question, four months ago you said for Christmas or roundabout Christmas. We’re well after that. Where are we at now?
PRIME MINISTER: The Government hasn't made a final decision on that. But what I do know is there's 2,600 jobs here because of our investments in submarines and frigates. I do know there are 2,600 jobs here and into the future. I mean, Adelaide is building submarines and they are where the big jobs are going to be. And what I am working closely with the Premier on is making sure that we're maximising those jobs in the defence industries and as we work through those important decisions and, you know, I'm not one to rush these important decisions. I mean, the decision relates to what we're doing with full-cycle docking in 2026. So it's important to get this decision right and at the end of the day, what that decision is about is how we get the best operations out of our defence forces and our submarine fleet. I mean, that's why we build submarines. We build submarines to make sure they're out there at sea doing their job. And that is the national interest, ultimately, in making these investments and this is the important issue. The capabilities here in Adelaide are fantastic, of course they are. That's why we've decided to build submarines here and build frigates. We’ve got 2,600 jobs and one of the big challenges we've got here in South Australia is actually meeting those workforce requirements. And so we're going to have to go put the pedal to the floor to ensure that we’re training and skills and getting people into those important defence industry jobs which we're creating here in South Australia and we want to make sure we achieve that. So if you're working in the shipbuilding industry and if you're working in the defence industry here in South Australia, you're working in the space industry here in South Australia, you've got a bright future because this is a plan for jobs. Our economic plan is about investing in the space industry. Our economic plan is about investing in the defence industry. Our economic plan is about investing in the skills of Australians so they can work in both of those industries into the future to get your taxes down, to build the infrastructure, to open up our trade opportunities all around the world. When we came to government, 26 per cent of our trade covered by export agreements. Now it's 70 per cent and we're going to 90. That's the economic plan that is going to give Australians confidence in what are very challenging times, whether it's the coronavirus, whether it's what we're seeing globally in the economy, whether it's what we've experienced over this terrible black summer and the challenges we have domestically with the drought. The way you deal with that is you invest in the things that grow your economy and that's why we're here today.
JOURNALIST: So sub jobs, the decision isn’t imminent on maintenance jobs?
PRIME MINISTER: I wouldn't go into any timetable. I'm just saying what the priorities are. And we will get this decision right in the Australian national interest.
JOURNALIST: Why isn't South Australia a priority for those jobs?
PRIME MINISTER: They are a priority. 2,600 jobs says priority, priority, jobs, jobs.
JOURNALIST: But you can't commit to keeping them here in South Australia?
PRIME MINISTER: I can tell you that people who are working in the submarine industry in Australia, in South Australia, will continue to be able to work in the submarine industry in Australia, in South Australia.
JOURNALIST: Can I ask on another issue to do with the Diamond Princess cruise ship?
PRIME MINISTER: Sure.
JOURNALIST: Do you know how many Australians on that cruise ship are choosing not to come home on a chartered flight from Japan and why?
PRIME MINISTER: We have less than 20, is my advice. It is 15, precisely. And the predominant reason for that is that they are staying, in many cases, with family members who have actually contracted the virus and are receiving medical attention in Japan. We have over 30 Australians who have contracted the virus who are on the Diamond Princess. So that is the predominant reason overwhelmingly for those 15 people who won't be on that plane today. But the good news is we will be bringing them home today. I can understand their frustration. I really can. And we've seen that expressed. Having spent two weeks on board that ship, trusting and hoping that the quarantine arrangements would have been successful. But even as the passengers themselves have said, with the outbreak that occurred on that ship, they know that's not the case. And at the end of the day, the safety of Australians, the health of Australians, has to be put first. And that's what we've done. We will give them every care and support. Greg Hunt, the minister, and Dr Brennan Murphy, the Chief Medical Officer, were up at Howard Springs yesterday looking at the facilities again. This is a different group of people, a lot more elderly people who are part of this group who are coming back. But we're going to take good care of them and we're going to make sure that the quarantine measures are effective and we want to get them home to their families as soon as possible. I know how frustrating it must be for them, but also for their family members, particularly if they have more elderly relatives who were caught up in this and they'll be concerned for them. I understand that. And so be assured that we'll take very good care of your family up there at Howard Springs. And you saw the reports that were coming from people who've now returned from Christmas Island and the wonderful care and attention they had from all of the team that was involved in that. I just want to thank Qantas again for really stepping up and being there to help Australians and to bring them home, which is what Qantas does so well.
JOURNALIST: The AFP Commissioner has said this morning that the raids on journalists could have been handled better. Do you agree with that, that they could have been handled differently?
PRIME MINISTER: That’s a matter for the AFP.
JOURNALIST: Will you reconsider releasing the Gaetjens report publicly?
PRIME MINISTER: What the Secretary of Prime Minister and Cabinet has done is released quite a comprehensive statement that went to his findings on this. It is not the policy of our government or any other government to have Cabinet in Confidence materials, of the governance committee in particular, to be released. That's just standard government practice. But the information that people are seeking I think has been well set out by the statement that was released by the Secretary.
JOURNALIST: Gaetjens in his submission to the Senate inquiry admitted there were bad decisions made on Bridget McKenzie's part with the spots grants. Doesn’t that go against the reasons why you’ve accepted her resignation?
PRIME MINISTER: The Secretary was very clear, the breaches of ministerial standards related to a conflict of interest issue and that was a clear cut case. And the minister has resigned from her portfolio, from the agriculture portfolio she held. We have accepted all the recommendations of the Auditor General's report and are acting on those which address also the issues that have been raised in the Secretary's report. So the minister resigned. We've addressed the issues in the report. And we're going to keep getting on with the job of building infrastructure that matters to communities. At the end of the day, that's what it's about when you're in government, whether you’re a state premier or a prime minister. You want to do things that make a difference on the ground in communities and the government will always keep doing that on the ground in communities.
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s landing is approaching and some events have been cancelled. In your view, why is it still important to commemorate this day?
PRIME MINISTER: Well, you know what? I don't know if you know this, but the whole inspiration for Gene Roddenberry’s wonderful series about Star Trek was actually Captain James Cook. He was a tremendous scientist, James Cook. And this was pointed out in Peter Fitzsimmons book most recently and he and I had some correspondence on this. He was a person of his age in an age of enlightenment which went out and explored and connected with new worlds. That's what he did. A person of his type in his time was very, very rare. And it's a reminder of another time. It was at an important part of Australia's history. I mean, my electorate actually is the place where he first set down, in Botany Bay. And each year on the 29th of April, we have every year had an acknowledgement and a coming together of cultures ceremony. And it's a beautiful thing and it's enabled the relationship and the reconciliation to continue to take place when we talk about our history and we talk about it in an honest way. But it's also important to understand that someone like - he was then Lieutenant James Cook, but ultimately Captain Cook - he says a lot about exploration, about seeking to understand the world in which we live. And, you know, that's what we're doing here. And so this is a theme that runs through to this day and so I think there's a lot to learn and when there's something to learn, I'm all for it. Thanks very much.