The Morrison government on Tuesday night pledged $19.5 million over four years to expand its emerging domestic space industry and help triple the size of the Australian space sector.
The investments are part of the government's wider plans to back "industries of the future," Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg declared in his Budget speech Tuesday night.
"We're investing $9 billion this year in science, research, and technology, including its commercialisation."
Karen Andrews, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, said in a press release that the proposed subsidies, called the Space Infrastructure Fund, will help grow Australia's space industry to $12 billion and increase employment in the sector to 30,000 jobs by 2030.
"Australia’s pioneering space sector is developing rapidly and we need to maximise this growth for the benefit of the broader economy," Andrews said. "The space fund will support the Coalition’s plan to help create 1.25 million more jobs over the next five years.
She added that the Space Infrastructure Fund compliments the Coalition's plans to create 1.25 million more jobs in the next five years.
As part of the $19.5 million allocation:
- $2 million will be spent in delivering a "future world class" space manufacturing capability in New South Wales in order to support skill development in the field.
- $6 million will be put towards the creation of a Mission Control Centre in South Australia which will aid in the testing and research of satellite technology.
The Morrison government has pledged to date over $73.2 million in the development of Australia’s space sector, Andrews said.
In addition, the government has committed a $3.4 million package over four years towards to encourage and support women and girls in STEM fields, in a push towards encouraging citizens to develop skills necessary for jobs of the future.
$15.1 million will be allocated to Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre based in the ACT, in order to expand its science education programs.