House debates

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Questions without Notice

Space Industry

2:52 pm

Photo of Ross VastaRoss Vasta (Bonner, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology. Will the minister update the House on how the government's actions to create a strong economy create new jobs and attract investment in our space industry? Is the minister aware of any different attitudes to supporting new and innovative industries?

Photo of Karen AndrewsKaren Andrews (McPherson, Liberal Party, Minister for Industry) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Bonner for his question. I'm delighted that my first question in this place comes from a fellow Queenslander and one who I know works so hard for his local community. Mr Speaker, as you've heard today, this government has a very strong record in creating jobs. But there's much more work that needs to be done. Our space industry already includes more than 380 companies, employs more than 10,000 people and contributes $3.9 billion per annum to the Australian economy. The Australian Space Agency will grow our space sector. Projections are that it will triple the size of the sector and add $12 billion to the economy by 2030. It will help create 20,000 new jobs. It will provide opportunities that help our farmers and our engineers. It will provide a whole ecosystem to assist and provide jobs now and into the future.

Importantly, a new space agency provokes dreams of going to the moon and exploring our universe. We, as a government, want our young people to shoot for the stars. We want our young people to understand that STEM opens up some fantastic opportunities for new careers into the future. Whilst we don't know exactly what the jobs of the future are going to be, we do know that about three-quarters of them are going to require STEM skills. Australia's space agency is going to go a long way to promoting opportunities for our young people and giving them the opportunity to aspire to something that they may not even have thought about to date. The global space economy is now worth about $345 billion, and the Australian Space Agency will help our businesses, large and small, to win a greater share of that market.

Finally, I can advise that in recent days a resolution has been introduced to the United States Congress commending the Australian government's creation of the Space Agency. The resolution supports deeper cooperation with Australia in working to boost mutual prosperity and security. This recognition from our US allies is a clear demonstration of the importance of our space program, which will help to launch new business and job opportunities for Australia. We're now entering the most exciting time for Australia's space industry. This is a truly exciting time for the space industry in Australia—especially because of the support it will provide STEM jobs and investment in the Australian economy.