The Australian regulatory regime for space launch activities: Out to launch?

Steven Freeland*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Australia has often been regarded as being highly suitable to the development of commercial launch services. This is the result of a rare combination of geographical, political and economic factors, including its sparse population density, stable climate, proximity to the equator, governmental stability, advanced technical, communications and transport infrastructure and a skilled workforce. The efforts to develop commercial launch operations
from Cape York Peninsula (Queensland) in the 1980s and the more recent proposals concerning Christmas Island (an external territory in the Indian Ocean), Gladstone (Queensland) and Woomera (South Australia) lend further support to Australia’s claim to become a player in the global commercial launch sector. It was not surprising, therefore, that the Government acted quickly to implement a regulatory framework for space activities in 1998 when interest in an Australian commercial launch industry began to surface again.
This paper descriptively reviews the provisions of the Space Activities Act 1998 and its regulatory impact on the capacity of the Australian launch industry and measures it on its effectiveness in providing a certain and predictable environment for launch operators, as well as the potential for future reform of the regulatory framework. To this end, it is important to note the operative provisions of the Act and the regulatory burden the Act imposes on Australian private launch operators.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 47th Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space
Place of PublicationVancouver, Canada
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
Event47th Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 4 Oct 20048 Oct 2004


Conference47th Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space


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