South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory have come together to advocate for the establishment of an Australian Space Agency.

Premier Jay Weatherill and ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr will today sign a Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of their governments to work together towards the creation of a Canberra-based agency with a prominent presence in Adelaide.

The five-year agreement reflects both jurisdictions’ commitment to ensuring Australia can participate in the international space industry, which produces revenue of $420 billion annually.

The MoU also recognises that the successful growth and competitiveness of Australia’s space sector in a global economy depends on bringing together the strengths and capabilities found in all states and territories.

The signing of the MOU will help other jurisdictions join efforts in developing the national space industry, and compel the federal government to act on setting up an agency.

Adelaide will host the 68th International Astronautical Congress in September, providing the perfect opportunity to showcase South Australia as the nation’s leading state for space enterprise.


Defence SA has been working closely with the ACT to develop the Memorandum of Understanding.

The MoU comes after South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory presented a joint paper at the COAG Industry and Skills Council meeting in Canberra earlier this month outlining ways to expand the nation’s space industry through education, research and industry-led initiatives.

It is envisaged that an Australian space agency will act as a space industry coordinator and government investment advisor, and build capability that will ultimately grow the number of direct and indirect jobs in the sector.

The South Australian government has committed funding and support to the 68th International Astronautical Congress including sponsorship and educational programs for students and teachers.

Australia’s space industry accounts for around $3-4 billion of revenue each year and has up to 11,500 full time workers. Establishing an Australian space agency is set to increase that contribution to as much as $12-18 billion in just three years.

Quotes attributable to Premier Jay Weatherill

South Australia and the ACT are committed to developing a space agency in Australia, and Adelaide will play a key part.

The space sector has enormous growth potential and is a perfect fit for South Australia, given our national leadership in other high-tech industries including defence, renewable energy, IT and advanced manufacturing. Just like those industries, the space sector will provide opportunities for traditional manufacturers to transition to a high-tech, high growth sector.

I encourage other states and territories to demonstrate their support for the establishment of a national space agency, which will see Australia secure a bigger share of this exciting industry.

Quotes attributable to Defence Industries Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith

South Australia and the ACT are leading the nation in developing strong space ecosystems, and together we are advocating for an Australian space agency to create a thriving national space industry.

Our state’s growing space ecosystem will take centre stage when delegates and space agencies from all over the world come to South Australia for the 68th International Astronautical Congress.

Opportunities arising from IAC and the lucrative space sector could be missed if the Australian Government fails to act quickly to support our participation in the industry.