Review of the Space Activities Act 1998

Closed 30 Apr 2016

Opened 24 Feb 2016

Published Responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


What is the Space Activities Act 1998?

The Space Activities Act 1998 (Act), Space Activities Regulations 2001 (Regulations), and the Space Activities (Scientific or Educational Organisations) Guidelines 2015 create a regulatory framework for civilian space activities in Australia, as well as for those conducted overseas but involving Australian interests. The Act and Regulations deal primarily with the launching of space objects and the return to Australia of space objects.  The stated objects of the Act (as currently drafted) are to:

  1. establish a system for the regulation of space activities carried on either from Australia or by Australian nationals outside Australia; and
  2. provide for the payment of adequate compensation for damage caused to persons or property as a result of space activities regulated by this Act; and
  3. implement certain of Australia's obligations under the United Nations Space Treaties; and
  4. implement certain of Australia's obligations under specified space cooperation agreements.

Why We Are Consulting

The space regulatory framework is complex and space-related regulation must consider many diverse and often conflicting issues. The Government believes that a broad range of views must be considered in order to get the balance right between innovation and responsible conduct and to enable Australian firms to compete effectively in global value chains that utilise space and/or space-derived data.

Your submission is important to us as an input to the review deliberations. Once all submissions are received, the department, in consultation with its advisor, Professor Steven Freeland, will analyse the information to inform advice to Government.

To help prepare your submission, an issues paper is available for you to preview the issues and questions being consulted on.

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What Happens Next

The Australian Government is undertaking extensive government, non-government and international consultation to better understand the legal and policy issues related to developing Australia’s current and future capabilities involving space, particularly in relation to the contribution that space-related activities can make to Australia’s economic and social prosperity.  

Following the consultation and analysis phase, the department will present options for Government deliberation, through the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science.  Options could include no change to current arrangements, amendment to the current legislation, or the development of new legislation.

The timing of any announcements on the outcomes of the review will be a matter for Government. You can register an expression of interest at and will be informed of any announcements.  

General enquiries can be sent to

Thank you for participating in this public consultation process and for your interest in this review of the Act.

Media enquiries should be directed to:


  • Industry
  • Universities
  • Research institutions
  • Not for profit organisations


  • Civil space sector