I’VE just read the small article in the Mike Welsh column (“Seven Days”) re Minister Mick Gentleman and the drone trial in Bonython.
It seems from this and other print articles, and on the web, that all Bonython residents are right behind the trial and everything is fine and dandy.
I assure you it is not – at a recent community meeting, the people present were all totally against it, with one lady breaking down in tears. A group has been formed by very unhappy residents who resent drones being flown over their houses and heads. Why?
These are large, noisy drones. You can hear them coming virtually from when they take off, zooming across the houses on the northern side of Bonython, over Stranger Pond and on to their deliveries. They sound like flying lawnmowers.
They are totally intrusive. Do people have to put up with drones flying over their houses? There is no real necessity for the drone deliveries, we do not live in the outback, we live minutes away from the shops.
They also carry cameras, recording their flights – at a Community Council meeting it was stated by the drone people that images were being sent back to California and stored.
They are potentially dangerous – if they have a collision, perhaps with a large bird or another drone, they could seriously injure whoever is underneath.
There has been no real consultation – the company apparently feels that putting leaflets in letterboxes is consultation.
There is no dedicated place to provide feedback on the trial, just the standard “contact us” options for Wing and for CASA.
Speaking of CASA, apparently the normal rules have been set aside for the trial, such as not flying drones over people. Will this carry on after the trial?
The government is not taking responsibility for feedback or anything else apparently – Mick Gentleman on his webpage has not provided another avenue for government feedback in a reply to a question I put to him on his Facebook page, it seems everyone involved is not interested in any negative feedback.
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