LABOR WALKS AWAY FROM QUAD BIKE SAFETY
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson has called on the NSW Labor Government to use the National Farm Safety Week this week to reinstate a critical quadbike safety program it discontinued on June 30, 2023
Mr Anderson said quad bikes, side-by-side vehicles (SSV), and tractors are responsible for 40% of deaths on farms each year.
“Farming continues to be one of the most dangerous industries to work in and sadly 55 farmers lost their lives in 2022,” Mr Anderson said.
“Danger can come from everywhere on the farm, which is why we have worked hard to raise awareness to improve farm safety, including offering rebates to improve safety on quad bikes or purchase SSV’s.
“Quad bikes accidents continue to be one of the biggest killers on Australian farms with seven lives lost on quad bikes in 2023.
“The NSW Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program offered rebates of up to $2,000 towards a new SSV, $600 for Operator Protection Devices (OPDs) on Quad Bikes, $500 for drones, and $90 towards new helmets.
“We also embarked on a widespread safety education campaign which led to the purchase of more than 2,500 new side-by-side vehicles and 960 Operator Production Devices.
“I know these rebates have saved lives over the past few years, getting farmers off quads and into safer vehicles, and giving them an opportunity to manage their farms from the air with drones.
“I am shocked that the Labor Government has chosen not to renew the NSW Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program beyond June 30, 2023.
“This is a neglectful decision, particularly on the eve of Farm Safety Week. Quad bikes continue to cause deaths on NSW farms and the government has a responsibility to help prevent these tragedies.
“The government needs to get this program back on the agenda and I am calling on them to urgently address this issue for the benefit of our farmers.