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'To boldly go': Australia's Space Agency is entering new frontiers

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The Australian Space Agency has officially released the organisation's charter to support development of national civil space priorities. 

The charter, specifies that an independent, skills-based advisory board will provide advice to the agency head, Dr Megan Clark AC.


Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews says the charter builds on the Coalition’s establishment of the Australian Space Agency to advance the space industry and broader economy, and create more local jobs in the sector. 

"The charter provides a high-level strategic overview of the agency, laying out approved governance arrangements including purpose, responsibilities and roles of the heads of agency and the advisory board," she said. 

The release of the Charter follows Minister Andrews’ visit to Gold Coast-based startup business Gilmour Space Technologies. Gilmour Space Technologies has secured $19 million funding from Blackbird Ventures and Main Sequence Ventures, which manages the Coalition government-supported CSIRO Innovation Fund, to develop low-cost rockets helping to turn Australia’s world-class research into new business opportunities and more jobs.

Gilmour is developing rockets for the fast-growing global small-satellite industry. The company has already launched a low altitude hybrid sounding rocket from Westmar, Queensland and successfully tested their full-scale orbital engine.

Anthony Murfett, deputy head of the Australian Space Agency, has oversight of strategy, policy and day-to-day operations of the agency, and supports Dr Clark in monitoring the agency's performance.

"Apart from the advisory board, the Space Co-ordination Committee (SCC) and Space Industry Leaders Forum will assist the agency in meeting our goals to drive new opportunities on the national and international stage, working with states, territories and government and industry leaders," Mr Murfett said. 

The agency charter provides a high-level, strategic overview of the agency’s purpose, responsibilities and governance structure. It is informed by the draft charter provided in the Review of Australia’s Space Industry Capability (the Review) and the Australian Government Response to the Review.

The charter supports, but is not intended to replace, other strategy and governance documents, including the agency advisory board’s terms of reference. The charter is approved by the Minister responsible for civil space activities (the Minister). At the discretion of the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister may also approve the charter.

The head of the agency, in consultation with the agency advisory board, may make operational changes to the agency’s charter. Where substantive changes to the charter are proposed, the Minister must be consulted.

The Australian Space Agency will transform and grow a globally respected Australian space industry that lifts the broader economy, inspires and improves the lives of Australians, underpinned by strong international and national engagement.

The agency is responsible for whole-of-government co-ordination of civil space matters and is the primary source of advice to the Australian government on civil space policy. This involves:

  • Providing national policy and strategic advice on the civil space sector;
  • Co-ordinating Australia’s domestic civil space sector activities;
  • Supporting the growth of Australia’s space industry and the use of space across the broader economy;
  • Leading international civil space engagement;
  • Administering space activities legislation and delivering on our international obligations; and 
  • Inspiring the Australian community and the next generation of space entrepreneurs. 

"The advisory board will review and advise strategic direction and performance of the agency, and support the agency to achieve its purpose to grow and transform Australia’s space industry," Minister Andrews said.

The full charter is available here

'To boldly go': Australia's Space Agency is entering new frontiers
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