Military-grade system to protect Harbour Bridge from drones
A military-grade counter-drone system could be used to protect the Sydney Harbour Bridge from being hit by drones - which happens on average once a week.
Video footage obtained by The Daily Telegraph shows a drone smashing into a pylon on the bridge.
Another video shows the danger drones pose to traffic, when a drone hits another bridge north of Sydney and crashes into cars below
Testing is under way on the counter-drone system, commissioned by NSW Transport.
If successful, the Royal Australian Navy wants the counter-drone system also deployed to protect Garden Island.
Ms Berejiklian said the measures were being considered because "wayward drones around the bridge have the potential to disrupt traffic and trains".
"On average, there is one drone incident a week," Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
"We are now using cutting-edge technology to ensure this great Sydney icon is protected for years to come."
The technology would send out a radar-jamming signal that would overwhelm a drone and force it to land safely.
She said Harbour Bridge designer John Bradfield "would never have foreseen the need to protect the Sydney Harbour Bridge from drones."
Security guards patrol the bridge around the clock but experts say for every drone you can spot with the naked eye there are hundreds more in the air.
Sydney drone defence company DroneShield CEO Oleg Vornik said its detection and defeat devices were used in 70 countries, as well as by Queensland Police during the Commonwealth Games and Australian Federal Police at the Invictus Games.
There is a no fly-zone for drones over the harbour to protect low-flying helicopters and seaplanes.
"Research has shown that helicopter blades and aircraft wings can suffer catastrophic damage if struck by a drone packed with lithium batteries," Mr Vornik said, adding his devices could stop drones being flown and also help track the operator.
"We can detect a drone and track the location of its pilot and send a patrol out to apprehend them," he said.
Police Minister David Elliott said such counter-measures were necessary: "Drones can present a real danger when being used inappropriately. And clearly, buzzing a drone around the Sydney Harbour Bridge is not appropriate.
"Drones have the potential to be disruptive to people travelling, or perhaps have even more serious consequences."
Hired by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to assess the risk of drones over the harbour and seven Australian airports, Counter Drone Solutions managing director John Hildebrand said: "What we are finding is that there are many, many more drones than people are aware of in the skies.
"We did a surveillance operation of a prison after two drones were spotted in two weeks. Over two months we counted 1700 drones within 5km of the prison."
Mr Hildebrand said drones were being used by anyone from terrorists to organised crime gangs as well as licensed operators and "clueless and careless" operators.
"Sydney Harbour is a restricted area because you have got seaplanes and helicopters flying at low altitude with ships ferrying tourists around down below," he said.
"When you have so much low-level flying a rogue careless drone operator presents a serious risk to public safety," he said. "Number one is to detect drones early because if you can see them with your eyes generally it is too late."
He agreed the countermeasures on the Harbour Bridge were necessary. "New Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour is at risk of the clueless or careless operator who puts up a drone to try and get that great photographic image. There is an increased risk to helicopters flying above."