Australian government to review space legislation

Review will look at space technology, investment

The Australian government has announced a review of the Space Activities Act 1998. The review will look space technology developments that have emerged since the Act was introduced.

The review will also examine the Space Activities Regulations 2001 to ensure Australia meets its international obligations for the use of space.

Industry, innovation and science minister Christopher Pyne, said that the review would look at whether the legislation provides the right regulatory environment to help Australian companies that have space-related capabilities tap into global supply chains.

The two-stage consultation process for the review will begin federal agencies and be concluded in November and be used to develop an issues paper.

The government consultation process will be followed by a public consultation from February to April 2016.

The global space sector is a source of significant technology advancements, such as satellite data, that have broader uses, Pyne said.

“Increasing access to satellite data is improving productivity in mining, agriculture, transport, and energy,” he said.

“Satellite data has become a vital part of emergency disaster response management and monitoring Australia’s long-term environmental health.”

The review will also look at managing space hardware activity from launch to re-entry and end-of-life disposal.

“We are already contributing to this with our $19.8 million investment in the CRC for Space Environment Management, a collaborative enterprise between space industries, universities and government bodies from Australia, USA and Japan,” said Pyne.

Space law expert, Professor Steven Freeland, has been appointed to conduct the review. Freeland has been asked to ensure the review takes the global regulatory setting for the civil space sector into context, and addresses including stimulating industry innovation and entrepreneurship.

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