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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 August 2019) . . Page.. 2584 ..

This is the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Tourism. On 1 November 2018 the Assembly resolved that the committee inquire into and report on drone delivery systems in the ACT no later than the last sitting week of 2019. I note we got in early. The committee received 151 submissions, held three public hearings and heard from 26 witnesses from a range of stakeholders.

The Assembly placed this issue before the committee because of concerns raised by residents of Bonython about the impact of the Wing drone delivery trials. During the course of the inquiry Wing concluded its trial in Bonython and began operations out of Mitchell.

The report examines the history of the trials and looks at the major concerns raised by residents: safety, noise, privacy and the impact upon domestic animals and wildlife. The report looks at the complex regulatory environment governing drones, and the committee has made four recommendations.

The committee was resigned to having a limited ability to address residents’ concerns as the primary regulatory power lay with the commonwealth. Following evidence from the community pointing to a misinterpretation of the existing aviation regulations, the committee wrote to the federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development asking for clarification. This correspondence prompted an acknowledgement from the minister and his department that they had been wrongly interpreting the Air Navigation (Aircraft Noise) Regulations 2018 and that these regulations in fact govern drone operations.

The Department for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development has announced a review intended to be completed by the end of the year to determine the appropriate scope and breadth of future noise regulation in consultation with government, industry and community stakeholders. Minister Ramsay has already written to the committee indicating that the ACT government will make a comprehensive submission to this review.

The committee considers this review to be a significant outcome that provides the Canberra community with an opportunity to shape future drone delivery operations in the ACT. On behalf of the committee I thank all witnesses and submitters for their contributions to this inquiry. I commend again my secretary, Hamish Finlay, for his excellent work and both the advice to me as chair and support to other members of the committee. I commend the report to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative

Public Accounts—Standing Committee

Report 7

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.05): I present the following report:

Public Accounts—Standing Committee—Report 7—Inquiry into Auditor-General’s Report No 1 of 2017-, dated 1 August 2019, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.

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