Tim Wilson MP |  Space Activities Amendment Bill
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Tim Wilson MP | Space Activities Amendment Bill

Deputy Speaker, the future is going to be awesome, and that is the basis on which I support this piece of legislation, a piece of legislation which enables this country to engage more proactively
in the potential of the horizons beyond us and in the wonderful world of space for whatever
we may choose to do. We know that the global space economy is now worth some $450 billion. That’s measured in dollars; but the horizon
of opportunities in what the space industry provides us, in technology, in science, in
the pursuit of what we can achieve as people, is so much greater and is so exciting. We are an industrious nation of scientists,
entrepreneurs and innovators, all of whom have so much to offer in the boundless frontiers
of the commercial space industry. It is incredibly exciting what we as a nation
can achieve, not just for ourselves, but for the future of the world and humanity in pursuing
that ambition. Space activity has of course traditionally
been housed in governments and space agencies, thus subject to the inflexibility of budget
considerations and, more importantly, limitations. In the 21st century the space industry will
reach its next chapter, one which will see the power of the market unshackled from the
burdens of the public sector through fierce competition, through private enterprise, to
see the boundless potential of what can be achieved beyond our atmosphere. We’ll see space hubs accelerate to a new level
of ingenuity. The space sector is growing at a rate of more
than 10 per cent per annum. The potential of this industry is incredible
for us, for our country, for the world. We are just getting started. We have so much potential as a country because
of the natural bounty we have, whether it’s because of the role of the fuels, the technology
and the minerals that enable us to be able to build up an industry of the future, but
also because we have those innovators and scientists who can harness their intellectual
power to build with the natural resources of this continent a space industry to take
the potential of this country off the ground and into the atmosphere. Already over 70 space start-ups have emerged
as domestic and international investment is rushing in. We have the energy, human capital and courage
to create a space hub driven by commerce and industrialism to take, not just the industry
of the early part of the 20th century, not just the development of the service sectors
that have profoundly transformed our economy in the late 20th century and earlier part
of the 21st century, but to combine them for the potential for a mid- and late 21st century
industry. Our space industry employs nearly 11,000 people
and is worth $4 billion a year now. But it is only a beginning of what we can
realise as a people in the future. There is no reason those numbers shouldn’t
multiply into the future. A new government space agency will be a significant
moment for our country in contributing to that process, because we need the commercial
industries and government to be working hand in hand. We have an obligation to ensure that the commercial
regulatory environment is sound enough to allow private enterprise to flourish, but,
more critically, to work with many of the other businesses and space agencies that operate
across the world. This bill supports the changing nature and
growth of that industry by streamlining and simplifying licencing and insurance requirements. We are getting the dead hand of red tape out
of the way, so Australia’s space innovators can fully unleash their growing capability
and compete on the global stage. I’ll just say, to the members of the opposition
who are scoffing right now, the future is going to be awesome, and we’re bringing it
about as part of this Turnbull government.

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