• Illustration of proposed Gilmour Space launch pad at Abbot Point. (Supplied)
    Illustration of proposed Gilmour Space launch pad at Abbot Point. (Supplied)

The government has announced that fees for space launch applications will no longer be introduced after previously being deferred twice.

The removal of the fees, which would have been imposed on businesses conducting domestic launch activities, were controversial in Australia's private space sector.

The change is part of a broader regulatory reform program that the Government has tasked the Australian Space Agency to undertake.

The Agency will also develop a Space Strategic Update, a vision through to the 2040s that will 'align efforts across the nation'.

Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price said the government had taken on board industry feedback.

“Our nation’s space sector has been on an incredible trajectory since we established the Australian Space Agency in 2018 and these new measures will see the sector rocket ahead even further,” Minister Price said.

“We know if the Australian space sector is going to keep growing at a rapid rate, then we need to ensure the conditions are right. That is why we’re scrapping plans for launch application fees and making improvements to regulations.

“We’ve also heard the feedback from industry that we need to better align efforts in the space sector. Through the Space Strategic Update, we will maximise investment and efforts to deliver for all Australians.

“Together these changes will give industry and investors further confidence in the Australian space sector as we look to deliver on our mission to triple the sector’s size to $12 billion and create up to an extra 20,000 jobs by 2030.”

Head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo said it was critical for the future of the local sector that our regulations are world-leading and our sector is more cohesive.

“The Australian Space Agency is providing the leadership for the sector to pull in the same direction, which will allow Australia to deliver on its full potential as an important player in the global space sector,” Mr Palermo said.

“The Space Strategic Update will address calls from across the sector for a more cohesive national space strategy.

“We will enhance coordination of investments and strategies, whether that’s across states and territories, across government or between our science, civil and defence activities.

“Likewise we must ensure we have internationally competitive regulation that supports industry growth and entrepreneurship while ensuring public safety.”

Gilmour Space founder Adam Gilmour said he was glad to see the change made with 'no real damage done.'

"Glad to see this decision made with no real damage done as the Government had wisely kept the fees on hold until now," he said to ADM. "As a new launch nation, Australia has a clean slate on which to build a world-class experience for our satellite and launch customers. We need to take this opportunity now to grow a globally competitive industry."

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