Australia spends over $22 billion pa on Australian Defence Organisation activity, forecast to increase annually by 3.5%.

The use of spatial information has considerably increased within Australia’s national Defence agencies, contributing to the rapid increase in the volume and sophistication of spatial data acquisition and access mechanisms. These changes can be seen in the centralisation of spatial data procurement, storage and dissemination processes, the integration of spatially referenced Full Motion Video (FMV), and the adoption of next generation radar satellite derived imagery.

The increased complexity and depth of information available has been matched by a growing appreciation of the value of spatial information within decision-making processes.

As spatial information becomes more embedded in decision-making frameworks, there is greater expectation to improve the efficiency of its availability and use.

However, the increased use and dependence upon spatial information have revealed several key issues obstructing its continued development. These issues are largely concerned with the management, storage and use of spatial information data, and are closely tied to the theme of more effective use of information and communications technologies.

Australia needs to reconsider the level of autonomy that it wishes to exercise over access to, and control of, space based derived information that critically contributes to our Defence and Security capabilities, including for reasons of national sovereignty