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The truth about Albo and Space

Liberal Party of Australia

The truth about Albo and Space

Reports suggest one of the announceables to
come out of Anthony Albanese’s Washington visit will be a space launch accord
and greater access for United States satellites to launch from Australia.

Anthony Albanese
might claim to be delivering closer space cooperation with the United States
but almost every single decision his government has made has hurt Australia’s
space industry, undermining our bilateral relationship with the United States
in this critical sector.

How can he trumpet
the signing of a new space launch accord in one breath and then cancel
Australia’s own satellite program in the next?

In recent weeks,
Australians have seen secret emails demonstrating Industry Minister Ed Husic
and the Prime Minister’s own office directed Australian public servants to hide
the axing of the $1.2 billion National Space Mission for Earth Observation
satellite program from our most important ally and partner in critical space
technology, the United States of America.

We know that at
least one Cabinet Minister, and people within the Prime Minister’s office, see
no issue in breaching the trust of our most vital ally, the United States of
America, if they judge it to be politically expedient.

In successive budgets,
Anthony Albanese and Ed Husic ripped $77 million out of key space initiatives:
the Australian Spaceports program, Australian Technology into Orbit, and the
high profile Moon to Mars program. All of these programs were vital for close
cooperation with the United States on space.

The Australian
Spaceports program was designed to support the development of domestic
spaceports and launch sites. The strategically significant Moon to Mars supply
chain program would have helped Australian space companies get a foothold in
the global supply chain while contributing to NASA’s project to reach the moon
within a decade and then move on to Mars.

Deputy Leader of the
Opposition and Shadow Minister for Industry, Sussan Ley said Anthony Albanese
was misleading Australians, and the United States, by falsely claiming his
government was serious about space.

“Realising AUKUS
will demand honesty, integrity and strong working relationships with the United
States – given what has been exposed, it’s hard to see how Ed Husic can be
trusted to do the work,” the Deputy Leader said.

“Australia could
have been a superpower in space, but because of Anthony Albanese’s reckless
approach, our space programs haven’t even made it off the launch pad.”

Shadow Minister for
Science Paul Fletcher said Labor’s decisions around space shows they do not
comprehend the important role the industry plays in Australia’s scientific,
economic and diplomatic future.

“The evidence is
clear – the space sector is worse off under Labor. What the sector needs is
genuine leadership, committed to furthering and strengthening our burgeoning
space potential,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Space should be
above politics and all we’ve seen under this government is the halting of
momentum and the sector being placed in the too hard basket.”

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