The Institute of Public Affairs have welcomed recommendations by the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Industry report on agricultural innovation for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to investigate red tape requiring unmanned aerial vehicles to be flown within visual line of sight, with a view to amending the rules to enable agricultural producers to use such vehicles.

Spokesperson for the Institute of Public Affairs, Evan Mulholland said “Farmers need to monitor crops that are over 10 kilometres away on the same property, regulation requiring drones to be within a visual line of sight is unreasonable in this circumstance and another example of bad red tape.”

This comes after a recent IPA report found that the true cost of red tape to the Australian economy is $176 billion per year – or 11 per cent of GDP.

That makes red tape a larger industry than the mining industry, which is 7 per cent of GDP, the manufacturing industry, which is 6 per cent of GDP, and agriculture, which is 2 per cent of GDP.

“New technologies like drones are only useful to the extent we can test, trial and experiment with their application. Farmers are trying to match their global competitors by doing this but red tape is getting in their way.”

“Every minute farmers spend pandering to red tape requirements, is a minute they are not dedicating to entrepreneurial innovation and economic activity” said Mr Mulholland.

For media and comment: Evan Mulholland, Media and Communications Manager, on 0405 140 780, or at [email protected]