Senator The Hon. Arthur Sinodinos AO
Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science
Canberra ACT 2600
18 June 2017
For a succession of Australian Federal Governments I have long and hard lobbied for an active Australian space industry.
I have met Australian-born NASA astronaut Dr Andy Thomas in Brisbane and the late great Neil Armstrong in Sydney in 2011 and have shaken their hands.
It amazes me that a country as rich as Australia has no space agency of its own. Australia is ideally suited as a base for space tourism and launch services, but the fledgling industry has been strangled in its crib by Government disinterest and over regulation.
I know of some Australian based private businesses which are leading the way towards an active space program in this country. I own one myself, a small engineering design firm working on unmanned spacecraft development.
This nation needs politicians with the vision and drive to make it a world leader in space exploration. We are falling behind developing countries like India which successfully placed a spacecraft in Mars orbit on its first attempt.
If I was the Prime Minister I would set a goal for Australia to place a manned outpost on the Moon for scientific research, and to do it in a decade. It is about time the Federal Government stopped sidestepping the issue and made an Australian space agency a reality.