EOA Response to the 2018-19 Budget

Dear Australian Earth Observation Community,

Earth Observation Australia welcomes the:

  • large scale and long term investments in developing Australia’s Earth Observation capability which will be delivered as part of the 2018-19 budget over the next 12 years, and
  • recommendations of the Space Industry Capability Review  and Government Response, and
  • formation of an Australian Space Agency to be headed by Dr Megan Clark.

EOA looks forward to working directly with all relevant parts of the Government, the Space Agency and Dr Clark, to provide the national coordination and collaboration necessary for their implementation.

The three main investments will be:

  1. Australian Technology and Science Growth Plan — growing the Australian space industry
  2. Australian Technology and Science Growth Plan — world class satellite imagery for Australian businesses
  3. National Research Infrastructure Investment Plan — implementation of Government response

Initial details of each planned investment are as follows:

1.  Australian Technology and Science Growth Plan — growing the Australian space industry

The Government will provide $41 million over four years from 2018-19 to grow the Australian space industry, including establishing a National Space Agency. This includes funding of:

$26 million over four years from 2018-19 to establish a National Space Agency, which will coordinate domestic space activities for Australia; and

$15 million over three years from 2019-20 to establish the International Space Investment project, which will provide grants to strategic space projects that generate employment and business opportunities for Australians.

2.  Australian Technology and Science Growth Plan — world class satellite imagery for Australian businesses

The Government will provide $36.9 million over three years from 2019-20 (and $12.8 million ongoing) to provide governments, businesses, researchers and individuals with access — through the Digital Earth Australia program — to reliable standardised satellite data (see attached Roadmap for Digital Earth Australia).

3.  National Research Infrastructure Investment Plan — implementation of Government response

The Government will provide an additional $1.9 billion over 12 years from 2017-18 ($393.3 million over five years) to implement the Research Infrastructure Investment Plan (the Plan), informed by the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap. Implementing the Plan will involve partially funding specific national research infrastructure projects, with the Government’s contribution subject to co-investment being secured by project proponents.


EOA and the “Australian Earth Observation Community Plan 2026” have played essential roles in securing these investments through:

  • Sustained and high level engagement in the “Space Industry Capability" review 2017-2018 that will provide the basis for the National Space Agency which we trust will make EO a central activity.
  • Providing the pathways and whole of community support necessary to justify investment in the Digital Earth Australia program, and a national capability to access and process long-term satellite image archives. This now includes establishment of the Earth Observation for Government Network in EOA to link policy requirements to appropriate EO data sets and transition research to operations.
  • Developing and delivering the “Earth Observation Research Infrastructure” five and ten year investment plan, in response to the Research Infrastructure Roadmap, that identified EO as essential national research infrastructure.  

The EOA Steering Committee and Working Groups are underway in addressing these areas, and look forward to engaging with the EOA community to enable the operationalisation of aforementioned investments, for the social, economic and environmental benefit of our communities.
 
Earth Observation Australia - Steering Committee
On behalf of the Australian Earth Observation Community