House debates

Monday, 18 February 2019

Statements by Members

Canberra Electorate: Drones

1:33 pm

Photo of Gai BrodtmannGai Brodtmann (Canberra, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Cyber Security and Defence) Share this | | Hansard source

A commercial drone operated by Evoenergy was shot down over a rural property. Actually, it was across the weekend; it was that recent. The wariness and distrust of drones by rural property owners is shared by Bonython residents in my electorate in response to Project Wings drone delivery trial. But at least none of Wings' drones were shot down. Instead, two of them fell from the sky for no reason but they weren't actually shot down. A local community group, Bonython Against Drones, presented a petition of 1,024 signatures to the Australian Capital Territory. Remember, there are 1,685 households in the area. And this result was replicated in larger surveys from the Canberra Times, the RiotACT and Canberra ABC Radio.

In December, the Canberra Times published a poll canvassing a broader range of people than just the residents. The result was 68 per cent against drones, 17 per cent for and 15 per cent unsure. The RiotACT's online poll on the delivery drone services showed 66 per cent of respondents said 'keep them out of my backyard'. ABC Radio's poll on 13 February with 793 participants showed 65 per cent were against the drone delivery trial or the service in general. It is clear there is a disturbing lack of regulation on this issue, and we need more investigation.