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Thursday, 17 October 2002
Page: 5430


Senator ABETZ (Special Minister of State) (5:12 PM) —My advice is that negotiations are still under way and it is anticipated they will be concluded with an outcome early next year. In relation to the amendment on the technology transfer, the government supports spaceports being established in Australia as private, fully commercial projects. As commercial projects they are subject to commercial contracts between the launch companies and their suppliers of space technology. Collaboration with foreign partners in spaceport projects will open important opportunities for Australian technology and industry. Where appropriate, the government negotiates technology safeguard arrangements with other countries to facilitate the use of foreign space technology in Australia for use in spaceports. In negotiating such arrangements, Australia ensures that its sovereign interests are preserved, while at the same time taking into account the commercial interests of Australian launch companies in a way that is consistent with our commitments under the Missile Technology Control Regime.