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Rocket launch rules set for shake-up

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June 14, 2018

Michaelia Cash is confident changes to space regulations will make it easier to launch rockets.

Relief may be on the way for Australian businesses struggling to burst through red tape before launching rockets into space.

Innovation Minister Michaelia Cash believes antiquated regulations are stifling Australian businesses trying to complete in the global space race.

Senator Cash says Australian laws governing space regulation were first introduced more than two decades ago, and businesses have simply moved on.

Squarely in her sights are approvals and insurance requirements for rocket launches and returns.

Senator Cash is spruiking changes introduced to federal parliament a fortnight ago, which aim to make these licensing arrangements much faster and simpler.

"These updates include new arrangements to facilitate the safe launch of high-powered rockets, and the safe launch of rockets from aircraft in flight," she will tell an international space conference in Canberra on Thursday.

"The effect of these changes will be to bring Australia in line with global practice."

Senator Cash expects the changes will reduce barriers to participation and encourage more private investment in the domestic space industry.

The global space economy is worth more than $US345 billion ($A454.8bn), and Australia is concerned its 0.8 per cent share of the industry is disproportionately small.

Australia's new space agency will start work on July 1, with a location for its headquarters to be decided towards the end of the year.

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