Drone crashes into Coroner’s Court

Drone crashes into Coroner’s Court

By Spencer Fowler Steen

A small drone has crashed into the Coroner’s Court of Victoria after flying around Southbank, sparking privacy concerns for local residents amid anti-lockdown protests across the city.

Southbank Community Hub Facebook group members reported that a drone “crashed into two pieces” on the roof of the Coroners Court on the evening of September 18, raising questions over why it was flying in such a densely populated area.

One user speculated that it could have been a police drone being used to check if there was any illegal activity going on in the area, after seeing a drone flying as high as 30 floors up around windows in Kavanagh and Power streets.

Others speculated it could be “bored” locals or commercial photographers flying drones in the area.

On September 22 following anti-lockdown protests across Melbourne’s CBD, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) declared Melbourne’s CBD airspace a non-fly zone at the request of Victoria Police.

It granted police temporary restricted airspace and required that media helicopters and drones obtain permission to fly over the CBD and delayed publishing aerial footage for at least an hour, according to media reports.

However, television networks Nine, Seven and the ABC won the right to continue flying over Melbourne until a Federal Court appearance against the CASA in late September.

It remains unclear why the drone seen by Southbank residents was flying around the streets in the week leading up to September 18.

But Victoria Police confirmed to Southbank News that it was not a police drone.

According to CASA’s recreational drone rules, drones are not permitted to fly overpopulated areas such as sporting events, beaches, or busy roads.

And when there are people around, your drone must be at least 30 metres away from them and must not fly higher than 120 metres.

Only one drone may be flown at a time, and it must always be within your line of site. Filming or taking photos of people without their permission using a drone can be in breach of the law.

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