News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.
Leeanne Enoch

Queensland Government releases Drones Strategy Consultation Paper to gather public input on growing drone industry

The Queensland Government has announced the release of the Queensland Drones Strategy Consultation Paper, which looks to generate public input to help grow the state’s drone industry.

Taking to the stage to announce the paper at the inaugural World of Drones Congress held in Brisbane, a drone expo sponsored by the Queensland Government and Advance Queensland, state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the government is looking at how the it can tackle regulatory challenges and open new business opportunities in the drone industry.

“Our highly skilled workforce, world-class research and development capabilities, technical expertise and Advance Queensland initiative have already put us in a very strong position, but to achieve this vision we need to work together,” she said.

“To ensure we get it right, we need everyone to have their say; business, industry, research and the community. We need to ensure industry can thrive, our research and development opportunities are maximised, our rights are protected and investment continues to flow into Queensland.”

Outlining the government’s aim, the consultation paper stated the vision is for Queensland to become a world leader in both drone technology and application, creating a space where the technology can “complement and enhance” the lives of local communities.

The paper also highlights the challenges inhibiting growth of the drone industry, the first accounted to the regulatory frameworks surrounding the industry.

The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is the governing body which sets the guidelines around flight permissions, safety, no-fly zones and issuing drone licenses.

An issue non-exclusive to Queensland, navigating the CASA framework is a challenge felt by a number of businesses working with drone technology across Australia. In Perth, drone training startup Global Drone Solutions launched to help budding drone pilots navigate the CASA requirements, by offering a CASA-certified training course.

Other hurdles outlined by the report include privacy issues related to drone use, which have expanded as the technology becomes more sophisticated, giving drones the ability to travel unnoticed, as well as the lack of commercial facilities in the state supporting drone testing.

Opening the floor to the public, the government will be gathering feedback until October 7th.

Among the questions posed by the report are what the public’s vision of the drone industry is, what will drive growth in the space, who are they key players, how can the government assist in the issue and how can the outlined challenges be navigated.

Launching the paper at the World of Drones Congress, Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy, Leeanne Enoch, said was the perfect forum to kick off a discussion among players in the drone space.

“It will provide an ideal platform for business matching, industry development and commercialisation and will position Queensland as an attractive investment destination.”

You can read more about the consultation paper here.

Image: Leeanne Enoch. Source: Courier Mail.