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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 1 November 2018) . . Page.. 4642 ..


some passionate conversations—I might actually refer to them as stand-up arguments—in shopping centres and online because I would not back away from supporting the trial.

The noise-sensitive people of Bonython were not too pleased with me. They still invited me to join their Bonython against drones Facebook group, which I did, and I began to get a sense of the level of frustration in my own community. I did a full day’s doorknocking in Bonython last week and was further surprised at the level of community objection.

Granted, when you do a doorknocking survey, it is an unscientific sample, and it is a small sample, but I found many more antis than I had anticipated. My raw data had six residents strongly in favour of the trial, eight with weak support, four who were indifferent, six who were weakly opposed, and 22 who were strongly opposed. Of those 22 some of them were vehemently opposed. That random doorknock survey straddled all demographics.

Interestingly, I knocked on the door of a townhouse down by Stranger Pond. When the residents came to the door and I explained the questions on the drone trial, they did not know there was a drone trial. I had to explain to them that there were drones delivering things in their suburb and that it was happening Thursday to Friday and where they were flying from. They had no idea it was on. In the very next townhouse the residents were of the belief that the drone trial pretty much had ended the world as they knew it and that it was impossible for them to continue to live in Bonython. I guess everyone’s personal threshold is different. Project Wing drones sound like a cross between an intense bee swarm and a distant formula 1 grand prix race, and right underneath they are pretty loud.

Please understand that as a resident of Bonython and a supporter of business and innovation I do not personally have any qualms whatsoever with the drone delivery trial. I hear the drones flying every week. There are multiple deliveries to my street; I can hear them from my house but it does not faze me one iota. But the level of community concern about this trial is an issue. It is not just about the noise; as Mr Wall said, it is about the regulations around this innovation. It is about innovation getting potentially ahead of laws and regulations.

I fully support my colleague’s push for a committee inquiry into drone delivery systems in the ACT. We need to understand the extent of regulatory oversight and the extent of impact on residents, native animals and domestic animals. I strongly recommend that that inquiry happens as outlined in Mr Wall’s motion. The reporting date of that to be more than a year from today I think is quite sufficient.

MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (12.08): It is a great pleasure to speak to this today. I want to address first and foremost the fact that this is not a debate about drones. Many members in this place have spoken about drones being the way of the future. I agree: drones are the way of the future. They are exciting, innovative pieces of technology. But this is not a debate about drones; this is a debate about process. We are being asked to consider whether an inquiry is referred to a committee. We are not here to discuss whether Mr Parton likes his burritos. I also like my burritos.


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