Let's make earth observation/remote sensing count in Australia's Space Capability Review - which is on now!

As most of you know we have a unique opportunity to directly influence how our country will or will not invest in Earth observation in Australia over the next 5-10 years through the current Review of Australia’s Space Industry Capability.

The AEOCCG submitted a response to the request for comments on the “Issues” Paper and its three main principles for the review, which will direct how the government invests in space activities, including earth observation.

EO is already recognised as a ‘space application of national significance’ and the Australian Earth Observation Community Plan 2026 is proof that we as a community have a very powerful vision for the role of EO in Australia.

The views formed by the Expert Reference Group for this review will be greatly influenced by what they hear directly from those who participate in the process.  That means mobilising to engage with the Expert Reference Group and ensuring they hear a consistent message from us as a strong and coordinated community.

A major chance to do this is through the face-to-face consultation sessions the Expert Reference Group will be hosting:

  • Hobart: 24 August
  • Darwin: 31 August
  • Brisbane: 1 September
  • Perth: 5 September
  • Adelaide: 6 September
  • Melbourne: 7 September
  • Canberra: 11 September
  • Sydney: 13 September

We need to ensure we have people with real experience in using EO across industry, government and research at every single meeting to get your requirements across and those of the community as defined in AEOCP 2026.

Can we please ask that, if you have not done so already, register below for the day in your city and attend to present your views and let the Expert Reference Group know of your support for the main points in the AEOCP 2026.

Key messages to be communicated from the Australian EO Community:

  1. EO is the sector with the greatest potential to underpin development of Australia’s future Space Industry Capability.  Australia has a strong national need for EO-enabled products and services, established capabilities across government, industry and research, an established national coordination mechanism and plan, and infrastructure that can support companies from start-ups to global scale. EO can be developed substantially, and will have significant returns to Australia’s economy and security, and the products and services are highly exportable.
  2. In relation to the ‘downstream’ part of the sector, we note the significant growth in the global geo-services market.  Data from satellites have been a significant factor in this growth.  With the right industry policy settings, Australia’s big data, geospatial, EOS and PNT expertise will position us well to be a significant player in this global market.
  3. Australia has developed a particular expertise in the development of applications that capitalise on all available satellite data, rather than on the data from a single set of satellite missions as is more typically the case.  Such applications provide richer products for users, and mitigate the risks of technical failure or data policy changes that come from dependence on a single source. 
  4. This capability is of significant interest to the many countries that, like Australia, do not have self-contained sovereign satellite programmes and wish to manage sovereign risk.  These applications will be globally exportable, and many will be relevant to sectors which Australia has already flagged as a priority: financial services, agriculture and resources.
  5. Australia’s is also very well placed to contribute to the ‘upstream’ part of the EO sector in the form of specialist instruments and missions that meet specific Australian priorities and complement the efforts of key partners.  Australia has many offers from space agency partners and major industry players to participate.
  6. The Australian EO community is well organised and ready to go.  We have a plan, the AEOCP 2026, and we are coordinated through the AEOCCG which provides a proven form of national engagement and collaboration building across all levels of government, industry and research.
  7. Australia’s EO community has addressed the requirements and principles proposed in the SCR document through the Australian Earth Observation Community Plan  2026. The priorities and action in AEOCP 20206 should be those that guide  the development of EO as a pillar of Australia’s future Space Industry Capability.
  8. Australia’s ability to exploit these advantages depends on digital infrastructure.  A very good foundation already exists, and the community is well coordinated (through the AEOCP) to take it to the next level.  Investments by governments through operational agencies and research infrastructure programmes, and co-investment by research institutions, have helped get us to this point. There are parallel developments in industry providing these services as well.  The next step requires government to enable industry and research to use government resources and private industry, where relevant to build new applications..  It is key that all government investment in this area, across research and operational domains, is aligned and enables smooth transitions of products and services from research to operations/commercialisation.