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New Policy Paper: 'Trust in Earth Observation Data: Dependencies, Risks, and Opportunities for Australia'



The Australian Centre for Space Governance recently published our latest policy paper, Trust in Earth Observation Data: Dependencies, Risks, and Opportunities for Australia. This policy paper explores the critical role of Earth Observation (EO) data in Australia’s economy, which contributes approximately $3.2 billion to our GDP. With this significant economic impact comes a high dependency on foreign providers, posing several policy challenges that require further attention.

These challenges include the management of data quality by commercial providers, navigating geopolitical risks, and ensuring the independence of data used in national security and other critical sectors such as urban planning, maritime surveillance, and disaster response. Our reliance on external sources for EO data brings to the forefront the importance of establishing long-term policies to mitigate these risks while maximizing opportunities.


Authored by Dr. Cassandra Steer and Dr. Aleksandar Deejay, this policy paper is a critical resource for policymakers, government representatives, and industry leaders engaged in sectors that rely on EO data and space-related critical infrastructure.


“We aim to reach an audience across the whole of our federal government with this short policy paper. Earth observation is critical infrastructure for Australia, and there needs to be awareness of the risks to our economy and climate wellbeing due to our current foreign dependencies. At the same time we highlight the opportunities for Australia to leverage our existing world-class capabilities in ground infrastructure and data, to uplift our geopolitical partners and play on our strengths as a contributor and not just a user of space data.”

- Cassandra Steer, Chair of the ACSG


The paper advocates for a whole-of-government approach to strengthen Australia’s position not just as a consumer but as a leader in EO ground infrastructure and data management. It advocates the need for Australia to leverage its advanced capabilities to not only meet domestic demands but also to contribute more significantly to the global EO infrastructure.

This publication is part of our ongoing commitment to promoting understanding and serving Australia’s space governance needs in the 21st century. For further information, to access the full paper, or to engage with our research team, please contact us at contact@spacegovcentre.org.



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