The 2012-2013 Australian Federal Government budget has left the space industry out in the cold, with no new funding announced. This places the Australian Space Policy Unit and the Australian Space Research Program with just 12 months of funding left before they could in theory be shutdown.
Since the seed funding for the Australian Space Industry was announced back in the 2009-2010 budget, no new funding to sustain long term space activities has been announced. Whilst the original small investment has seen a resurgence in Space activities in Australia, a cloud now hangs over what will happen beyond the next financial year, placing the industry on edge as to what the long term future will be.
The Space Policy Unit is expected to release the first Australian National Space Industry Policy in the third quarter of this year, which will hopefully provide a strong direction for the industry together with the announcement of new funding that matches or exceeds current funding amounts.
Announcing a National Space Industry Policy with no funding would effectively undo some of the great achievements made over the last few years, and risk many of the economic benefits that the Space Industry brings to Australia.
All hopes rest with the upcoming policy to provide certainty for the Space Industry.