Non-military space testing in the Woomera prohibited area: Opportunities for the Australian space industry?

Melissa de Zwart, Dale Stephens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Australian Civil Space Industry is poised at a crucial moment in its history. Careful strategic decisions need to be made regarding whether Australia will continue to take a back seat in the space race or whether it will join the growing space technology industry, providing major opportunities for Australian innovators. This cannot occur if the current legal and regulatory frameworks do not facilitate research activities and investment. The Australian Government is currently reviewing the Space Activities Act 1998 (Cth) and the Space Activities Regulations 2001 (Cth). This article will consider the unique role played by the Woomera Prohibited Area in the development and testing of launch technology and undertake an assessment of whether the Woomera Range (and by extension Australia) may once again play an important role in the research, development and testing of space technology. The article will place the legal restrictions regarding access to and use of the Woomera Range within the context of the proposed revision of the Australian legislation regulating civil space activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-64
Number of pages26
JournalFederal Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Australian Civil Space Industry
  • Space industry
  • space technology
  • Woomera Prohibited Area
  • non-military space testing
  • legal restrictions


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