The Asia Pacific's first-ever Centre of Drone Excellence has opened in eastern Victoria.
The centre is based near Warragul at Lardner Park and will focus on drone technology training and development.
Drone Institute Executive Director Paul New said it hoped to capitalise on massive growth forecast for the sector.
“The addressable market for drones by 2025 as defined by PwC will be $157 billion,” he said.
“The Centre of Drone Excellence will hopefully will act as an incubator or hub for drone operators, practitioners, training, and research development.”
Mr New said a few other drone hubs had opened in Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe but the Gippsland hub was a first for the Asia Pacific.
“Ultimately we see the local community connection, the state-wide and national use of the site as part of our target audience for the next 6 to 12 months,” he said.
“But ultimately it's Asia-Pacific, If you look at Singapore, Korea, most of south-east Asia they're congested and they also have limited opportunity to develop and shape how drones will play out in their region.
“So a great offering is you come out and do English in drones or agricultural science in drones and conduct that training on site here and ultimately the wider area of Gippsland benefits from the extra dollars coming into the community.”
Mr New said agriculture would be at the forefront of the drone hub.
“I think drones will play out to get rid of the dull, dangerous and dirty tasks and then farmers can start to reallocate time and do what's classically known as managing by exception.
“So the drones conduct tasks like checking the gates, the water level of the trough on the far paddock.”
Regional students to benefit from drone hub
Lardner Park CEO Nicola Pero said the centre will create opportunities for students in regional Australia.
“They are going to be able to get these skills, put themselves in almost a cutting-edge position for future jobs and future industries that are developed around what drones can deliver,” she said.
“City kids aren't able to do that, they can't fly, they can't get their flying hours up.
“This is truly something that regional Australia from an education perspective could really capitalise on.”