Google drone delivery to touch down in Queensland

Written on the 31 July 2019 by Matt Ogg

Google drone delivery to touch down in Queensland

The city of Logan in South East Queensland is on a roll at the moment.

First there was the world's largest online training marketplace GO1 announcing the opening of its global headquarters in the city, but now a behemoth is coming to town. 

After trialling a drone delivery service in Canberra for the last few months, Google-affiliated Wing has decided to expand it offering to Queensland, delivering a range of items such as fresh bread, hot coffee and food items directly to homes in minutes.

"We'll be starting our service in Logan, one of Australia's fastest growing communities and home to the eighth largest population in Australia," Wing announced in the most Silicon Valley-like fashion - a blog post on Medium.

"Logan is also one of Australia's fastest growing areas, we also believe our air delivery service can help reduce the traffic congestion and air pollution that often accompany such growth.

"Queensland is also a natural choice for our next service because the State is at the forefront of drone technology leadership."

The multinational drew attention to the Queensland Drones Strategy, which was launched by the Palaszczuk Government last year. The state will also be hosting the World of Drones Congress which this year will take place in Brisbane on 26-27 September.

"Wing will be teaming up with a range of businesses in Logan to begin delivering to a small group of homes in the suburbs of Crestmead and Marsden," Wing said.

"We expect to expand our service to more customers in the coming months, after we've had the chance to meet more of the Logan community and hear what they would like to see from an air delivery service."

Wing's head of Australian operations, Terrance Bouldin-Johnson, said the company was pleased to be expanding its operations in Australia.

"Queensland has staked out a leadership position in the advancement of drone technology and some of the most significant drone developments in the world are happening here," Bouldin-Johnson said.

"Wing allows customers to order a range of items such as fresh bread, hot coffee or food items on our mobile app, and have them delivered directly to their homes by drone in minutes.

"Whether you're a parent who forgot to pick up fresh bread for your kids school lunches, or you simply want to order your weekend coffee without having to drive to the shops, Wing is teaming up with local Logan businesses to give customers the opportunity to have a range of goods delivered in a handful of minutes."

Innovation Minister Kate Jones said Queenslanders would be among the first in the world to have the drone delivery service, which will cater to items of up to 1.5kg.

"We're working with the world leaders in drone technology to create jobs for Queenslanders," Jones said.

"That's why we're partnering with Wing today to make sure that we lead the way when it comes to capitalising on the opportunities provided by technological advancements in drone technology.

"Already we have some of the world leaders in drone tech and we're investing more in this space than any other government in the country."

Jones said the state was already leading the way in drone technology across a number of industries including defence, agriculture, mining and manufacturing.

"Wing has the potential to shift the gear again in the use of drone technology for transportation by increasing access to goods, easing traffic congestion and helping to reduce carbon dioxide emissions."

Jones met with representatives of Wing during a trade mission to the United States in June to explore opportunities.

"Building partnerships with industry and trade leaders is a key part of our Advance Queensland innovation strategy to grow and diversify our economy," she said.

"Through these partnerships we can embrace digital disruption and harness the power of innovation to create the jobs of the future in Queensland."

The announcement comes as the multinational is under fire over alleged tax shifting, with the ABC reporting ASIC records show Wing recorded payments of $3.2 million to the Alphabet group of companies last year but only paid $144,434 in taxes.

"This company earns all of its revenue from the offshore parent entity and pays most of its expenses to the same entity and other related parties," Jason Ward, the principal analyst at the Centre for International Corporate Tax Accountability and Research, told the national broadcaster.

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Author: Matt Ogg

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