2 November 2018

Assembly committee to investigate drone deliveries

| Ian Bushnell
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Drones may be the future but the trial in Bonython is causing angst.

A Legislative Assembly committee will investigate issues arising from the drone delivery trial in Bonython, as well as drones’ potential impacts on greenhouse emissions and privacy concerns.

Liberal Member for Brindabella and Shadow Minister for Business Andrew Wall’s motion for the Assembly to refer drone delivery services to the ACT Assembly’s Economic Development and Tourism Committee was passed on the voices on Thursday (1 November), with amendments from Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury.

Mr Wall said it was important that the community got a chance to have their say.

“The drone delivery trial is new and innovative, and it’s great that Tuggeranong was chosen to be the first trial site. But not everyone in the community shares this enthusiasm and it’s important that their concerns are also heard, along with those in favour,” he said.

“I do think it’s concerning that Labor MLAs tried to stop the inquiry from happening. A lot of members of the community will be wondering why the Government did not want them to have a say.

“I encourage all interested Canberrans to make submissions.”

Mr Rattenbury said that if drones could replace diesel truck deliveries that could be a benefit to the environment, especially if they were electric and powered by renewable energy.

He also told the Assembly that privacy concerns about drones related to them being able to record visual data and what happened to that data – where it was stored and used. He was also aware of surveillance issues, specifically about the stalking of domestic violence victims using drones.

The committee is required to report to the Assembly on the matter no later than the last sitting week in 2019.

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