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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 761 asked in the Legislative Council on 31 August 2022 by Hon Sophia Moermond

Parliament: 41 Session: 1


761. Hon SOPHIA MOERMOND to the minister representing the Minister for Science:

The 2022–23 budget saw $6.5 million go to WA's space sector, with $4 million to the Australian Remote Operations for Space and Earth consortium and $2.5 million to Curtin University's Binar space program. Given that innovation in space requires long-term commitments, I ask the following.

(1) What are the longer term funding arrangements for AROSE and its remote lunar rover program?

(2) Does the government intend to allocate further funding for CubeSat spacecraft?

(3) When will Western Australia's dedicated satellite constellation be online?

Hon DARREN WEST replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. On behalf of the Minister for Regional Development, I provide the following answer.

The government's $4 million co-investment in AROSE supports headquarter operations for the 2022–26 period, including the employment of core AROSE staff. AROSE is seeking to become financially self-sustaining after this period.

(1) AROSE is seeking Australian government funding to support its lunar rover program through the Australian Space Agency's $50 million Trailblazer program. The Western Australian government has committed $4.4 million to support AROSE's Trailblazer stage 1 project if its ASA bid is successful.

(2) The government has committed $2.5 million to support Curtin University's Binar CubeSat space program for the 2022–26 period. There is no additional funding currently allocated for CubeSat spacecraft. However, the government will assess any future proposals received.

(3) Seven Binar CubeSats—Binar-1 to Binar-7—will form Western Australia's first satellite constellation. Binar-1 was launched in August 2021. Binar-2 to Binar-7 are due to be launched in 2023 and the constellation is due to be online in the months following this final launch. The program has experienced delays due to the worldwide shortage of microchips.