VICTORIAN Farmers Federation lobbying has delivered $6 million in quad-bike safety rebates.
“We applaud the commitment from Premier Daniel Andrews to provide rebates for farmers wanting to fit rollover protection devices on their quad bikes or buy a safer vehicle – such as a side-by-side,” VFF president Peter Tuohey said.
“This funding is a major breakthrough in protecting farmers’ lives.
In 2015, there were 22 quad bike fatalities across Australia (six in Victoria, four each in Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales, three in Tasmania, and one in the Northern Territory).
“There’s been another two quad bike deaths in Victoria this year.
“It’s an unacceptable toll and it’s great the Victorian Government has taken action,” Mr Tuohey said.
The VFF first called for a rebate on the fitting of roll-over protective (ROP) devices in its Pre-Budget Submission to Government in February.
The VFF’s call followed WorkSafe Victoria’s announcement in February that it deemed ROPs (also referred to as Operator Protection Devices as “an appropriate means of reducing risks when quad bikes are used in the workplace”.
At the time, WorkSafe executive director of health and safety Marnie Williams stated: “This means that if a roll-over was to occur, the employer could face prosecution for failing to reduce the risk to the operator”.
Since then WorkSafe has been developing a Quad-bike Risk Assessment Tool that will assist farmers in assessing the risk of a quad bike roll-overs.
While the Assessment Tool has not been released, early indications are that in nearly all cases it will lead to the conclusion that there is a risk of roll-over and an OPD should be fitted or the quad bike should be replaced with a side-by-side vehicle.