Deloitte to project manage flagship $1b ‘sovereign’ satellites program

Denham Sadler
National Affairs Editor

Multinational consulting giant Deloitte has been brought in to assist with the delivery of the federal government’s “historic” National Space Mission.

The Industry department has entered into a $1.3 million contract with Deloitte, running from 25 March to 1 July 2023, for program management on the National Space Mission for Earth Observation.

The $1.2 billion program, unveiled in this year’s budget, will see the design, construction, launch and operation of four new Earth observation satellites, and was the flagship space policy in the budget.

The contract will see Deloitte providing program management staff to the department to support the delivery of the initiative.

“The Deloitte personnel will assist through managing budgets and schedules, providing secretariat services and supporting the conduct of procurement activities,” an Industry department spokesperson told

“They will not lead any of the projects or make decisions about the program or procurement.”

The contract will be kept confidential due to intellectual property clauses.

It is Deloitte’s second space-related contract with the federal government to be revealed this week, with the firm also set to review the Moon to Mars initiative.

The National Space Mission is worth $1.16 billion over the next 15 years, with $38.5 million per annum going towards its first phase.

It aims to make Australia more self-sufficient in Earth observation data, and to grow local capability and increase job opportunities in the industry.

Australian Space Agency boss Enrico Palermo labelled it a “historic investment that will strengthen our sovereign capability”, and the most exciting thing that has happened for the civil space industry in the country.

“The agency will lead the mission, but in many respects this is really a robust whole-of-government procurement initiative to really address some sovereign capability risks for the nation,” Mr Palermo told in March.

“This program will create in Australia the industry know-how for building more sophisticated satellites, and it will be done through a procurement program, not a grants program.

“This is really going to get us going to [push us] up into heavier class satellites in Australia and gets us on to a track that over time will help the industry to support Defence needs in the long term.”

The program will be run in partnership by CSIRO, GeoScience, the Space Agency, Bureau of Meteorology, the Department of Defence and the Industry department.

The Industry department also recently awarded Deloitte a $250,000 contract over three months for the consulting firm to review the $150 million Moon to Mars program.

Deloitte will be conducting a “post-commencement evaluation” of several elements of the initiative, which aims to help local companies participate in NASA’s upcoming missions to the Moon and Mars.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

  1. Arno Schaaf 2 years ago

    I suppose that Deloitte has as much experience in managing space programs as Aspen Medical had in providing aged care services. What could possibly go wrong?

    • Digital Koolaid 2 years ago

      Hi Arno. Everyone here in Canberra knows that experience is not one of the selection criteria for contracts under the current federal government. Things just don’t work that way. They work another way. Can you guess?

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