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The government of Australia announced Sept. 25 that it plans to formally establish a national space agency, a milestone sought for decades by the country’s space industry and other space advocates. Sen. Simon Birmingham, the Minister of Education for the government of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, formally announced plans to establish the agency in a speech during the opening ceremonies of the 68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) here. Birmingham said the government was announcing plans to establish a space agency even though a review of the country’s space capabilities is ongoing and not scheduled to be completed for several months. “While there is more work to be done in this review, from the extensive consultation process to date, one point is overwhelmingly clear: the case for establishing an Australian space agency is compelling,” he said. “So I am pleased today to announce that the Australian government will be establishing a national Australian space agency.” The plan to create the agency was also announced by the government in a statement. “A national space agency will ensure we have a strategic long-term plan that supports the development and application of space technologies and grows our domestic space industry,” said Sen. Michaelia Cash, Acting Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, in the statement. The announcement contained few details about exactly when the agency will be established, how it will fit into the overall government and its specific roles and responsibilities.