The Australian Space Agency has secured an additional $13.3 million in funding as part of the 2021 federal budget, so let’s go to the moon, baby.
As part of the announcement, the Australian Space Agency will receive $13.3 million over four years starting in the 2021-22 financial year, with $3.3 million annually ongoing. The funds will be used to increase the agency’s technical advisory capacity as part of the Space (Launches and Returns) Act 2018, and to support the overall growth of the space tech industry in Australia.
“The Federal Budget 2021 announced funding to support the regulatory activities of the Australian Space Agency and to keep pace with the growth of the space industry. $13.3 million will increase our capacity to support the growth and transformation of the industry,” the Australian Space Agency said on Twitter.
The Federal #Budget2021 announced funding to support the regulatory activities of the @AusSpaceAgency and to keep pace with the growth of the space industry. $13.3 m will increase our capacity to support the growth and transformation of the industry. https://t.co/CRpBN2XUaA pic.twitter.com/JHmKzeFqHk
— Australian Space Agency (@AusSpaceAgency) May 11, 2021
In addition to the obvious benefit of space exploration and the hope that one day we can all run away to Mars and escape the planet we’re quickly destroying by not caring about climate change, the investment also helps create jobs and support the advancement of vital infrastructure.
“Space is the new frontier for modern manufacturing and is one of the Government’s six National Manufacturing Priorities. Roadmaps developed with industry have recently been released by the Morrison Government to inform the long-term strategy in each of these priority industries, including space, and to help capture exciting new opportunities to grow these sectors and create jobs,” Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter said.
“Innovation in the space sector also supports advancement in other essential industries, including agriculture and transport.”
The funding will work towards the Australian Civil Space Strategy, which aims to triple the size of the space sector, increasing the sector’s contribution to the GDP to $12 billion and grow an additional 20,000 jobs by 2030.
“The Strategy is built on four Strategic Space Pillars – open the door internationally; develop national capability in areas of competitive advantage; ensure safety and national interest are addressed; and inspire and improve the lives of all Australians. It also makes clear that meeting Australia’s international obligations and supporting a rules-based order are central to achieving this vision,” the head of the Australian Space Agency Dr Megan Clark said.
Overall, the 2021 federal budget looks pretty promising for the science, tech and telco sectors. You can read more about the biggest tech news from the budget here.