New Aussie ambassador to US will use his post to promote space sector

New Aussie ambassador to US will use his post to promote space sector

Max Blenkin

New ambassador to the US Arthur Sinodinos plans to promote Australian innovation and industry, including its growing space sector, when he heads to Washington.

Senator Sinodinos, former chief of staff to prime minister John Howard, said space was one of the areas where Australia could do a lot.

“We’re unique because of our geography. We’ve had a head start with some of the work we’ve done in the area of space technology and communications. We’ve had the partnership with NASA,” he said.

“We’ve had a lot of frustrated people in the area who thought we were on the verge of creating a big new sector, and then it seemed to go into decline. But now it’s back.”

Senator Sinodinos told website industry and innovation website InnovationAus.com he hadn’t yet worked out his program for the US.

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“But obviously I’ll continue to keep an interest in innovation and science to improve the economy and society,” he said.

This week, Senator Sinodinos attended the official launch of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Training Centre for CubeSats, Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles and their Applications (CUAVA) at the University of Sydney, and said this formed part of the government’s broader goal of establishing Australia’s space industry.

 

“What we’re doing with CUAVA is giving more shape and substance to what that industry can be for Australia by looking at how we use unmanned aerial vehicles and CubeSats to help to expand our industrial footprint,” he said.

Senator Sinodinos said this was all about advanced manufacturing and creating a basis where great Australian firms and industries, which otherwise saw their futures offshore, could do it from an Australian base.

“And that’s important. This is one of the sectors where we think we can do a lot. We’re unique because of our geography,” he said.

“We’ve had a head start with some of the work we’ve done in the area of space technology and communications. We’ve had the partnership with NASA.

“We’ve had a lot of frustrated people in the area who thought we were on the verge of creating a big new sector, and then it seemed to go into decline. But now it’s back.

Senator Sinodinos was industry minister under prime minister Malcolm Turnbull when the government launched the review of Australia’s space industry, which led to the creation of the Australian Space Agency last year.

“I’m happy to be the president of the creation,” he said.

“There was a gathering consensus that we needed to do something in this space. I was confident we would have the support of other stakeholders, including the opposition.”

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