The Abbott Government will invest $700 billion to develop an off-planet immigration detention facility on the surface of the moon. This investment forms part of $1.9 trillion project that will strengthen our borders and protect Australian jobs from the tens of people attempting to reach our shores by boat every year.
The project will deliver a major expansion in R&D capacity at the Australian Space Research Institute (ASRI) in Canberra, ACT. It will help ensure ex-NASA employees whose funding was cut by their own government can find meaningful employment in Australia once they have had the decency to arrive here by plane.
‘ASRI will be a strategically important preventer of illegal arrivals to Australia, helping to assure the hard-working mums and dads of Australia that our borders will always remain sovereign under a Coalition government,’ Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison said.
‘Let me be clear. I’m trying to stop people illegally entering Australia by boat. That’s our objective. My first responsibility as Immigration Minister is law enforcement of our migration laws and that’s exactly what I’m doing … by sending them to the moon.’
Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane MP, said the high-value R&D investment would provide a big boost to Australia’s manufacturing sector.
‘It will result in over 14 ongoing, highly skilled jobs and an average of 12 full-time jobs in the construction and commissioning phase,’ Minister Macfarlane said. ‘This government is ushering in a new age of Australian manufacturing. No other country has ever built a slingshot this big.’
Minister Morrison said, ‘The Australian taxpayers can rest easy knowing that their jobs are safe, as long as there is a Coalition government in power and these detainees remain unable to breathe in a light- to no-atmosphere situation.’
‘Australia will benefit from this investment for years to come.’
Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop MP, said she was yet to visit the moon, but very much looked forward to working with their government into the future.
The ASRI has a special place in Australia’s history. It was formed in the early 1990s after a merger between the AUSROC Launch Vehicle Development Group at Monash University in Melbourne and the Australian Space Engineering Research Association (ASERA). Formerly a non-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers, the Institute has now been streamlined to facilitate its future delivery of a state-of-the-art trebuchet that the Australian community can depend upon.
Funding for this investment has already been provided for in the 2014–15 Budget and in the updated budget projections released in the Treasurer’s Budget Statement of 13 May 2014.