The Commonwealth Government introduced the Space Activities Amendment (Launches and Returns) Bill 2018 (Cth) (‘the Bill’) on 30 May 2018. The Bill is for the purpose of encouraging investment in space innovation and ensuring safe industry participation.
According to the explanatory statement for this Bill, the Space Activities Act 1998 (Cth)('the Act') originally established a regulatory framework for licensing and safety requirements for space activities in Australia or involving Australian interests, and implemented certain elements of Australia’s international publications under United Nations Space Treaties. However due to changes in the operating environment as noted in the Review, this Bill proposes to amend the Act to address changes to the operating environment. Changes include both the type of activities being undertaken as well as new participants such as small business and universities.
This Bill follows on from aof the Act, which was announced by the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science on 24 October 2015. Under the review, reforms under consideration included:
As noted in the second reading speech by Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan, the Bill proposes to address the recommendation by the review that there should be more flexibility to accommodate the changing operating environment for space activities and support innovation and investment.
This Bill proposes to make the following key amendments to the Act:
The Bill also proposes to amend the Customs Tariff Act 1995 (Cth) to update the reference to the short title of the Act.
In his second reading speech, Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan stated that the Bill aimed to improve the regulatory framework for space activities:
On the licensing arrangements, Mr Tehan noted:
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Space Activities Amendment (Launches and Returns) Bill 2018 (Cth), explanatory memorandum and second reading speech as published on TimeBase LawOne.
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, ‘.’
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