Pirate support for creation of a national space agency

Pirate Party Australia supports in principle the government’s call for a review of the space industry capability in Australia. This is an opportunity for the government to win back trust lost in the technology sector through implementation of the short sighted fibre to the node model for the National Broadband Network. A rapidly expanding Australian space industry should form part of a multistrand approach to science, technology, and innovation policy as laid out in Pirate Party Australia’s policy platform, which calls for a National Science Plan[1].

The creation of a national space agency provides opportunity for visionary new public policy to place Australia at the forefront of global aerospace and telecommunications industries, bringing investors and technological capital to Australia. This matches Pirate Party Australia’s policy for the formation of a National Institute for Space Science and a $100 million grant for development of infrastructure as recommended by the 2010 National Committee for Space Sciences Decadal plan[2]. It will also support the Party’s proposal for an online science portal available to schools and the general public containing free materials for science education[1].

The Pirate Party also recognises regional areas relying on access through the NBN Co’s Skymuster satellites have been experiencing ongoing congestion related issues[3][4][5][6] which a vibrant private space industry will help address through provision of smaller, cheaper and more advanced satellites to fill the gaps in coverage, bandwidth or caused by outages. To assist the development of a private space industry, the Party suggests a national space agency will provide industry direction through public investment in infrastructure and research into cutting edge technologies in the fields of aerospace, telecommunications, navigation and climate sciences.

The ongoing review efforts to modernise and reform the Space Activities Act 1998[7] are an important opportunity for the government to demonstrate policy leadership, where the Pirate Party already has within its member developed policy platform. The general public are ready for Australia to take a lead position in peaceful space exploration, with the release of the draft legislation expected later this month it should be an exciting conclusion to the 2017 National Science Week.

[1] https://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Platform#A_national_Science_Plan
[2] https://www.science.org.au/support/analysis/reports/decadal-plan-australian-space-science-2010-2019-building-national-presence
[3] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-03/nt-government-warns-nbn-over-technically-inferior-satellite/8411308
[4] http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2016-05-05/data-drought-survey-results/7386780
[5] http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/nbn/launch-of-second-nbn-satellite-to-address-australias-digital-divide/news-story/cedd3640918e51d0aa8e4568a36231b0
[6] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-02/sky-muster-service-massively-improved-in-rural-areas-nbn-says/8488884
[7] https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2004C01013