4 October 2019

Devastating disease on Australia’s doorstep

Calls for stronger quad bike safety standards and mandatory operator protection devices (OPDs) from the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF), the National Farmers Federation and other industry bodies have been answered today by the Federal Government.

“Workplace safety is a non-negotiable. Quad bikes are the leading cause of injury and death on Australian farms. This year they have already claimed nine lives, including three children, and caused an average of six emergency department visits a day,” said Mr David Jochinke, VFF President.

“The new quad bike safety standards, including mandatory OPDs on all new quad bikes, announced today are a significant step towards safer workplaces for our farmers, their employees and families.

“It is vital that we have OPDs fitted on all quad bikes, that they are engineered to a minimum safety standard, and that we have well-trained and careful quad bike users.

“However, the safety standards announced today will only apply to new quad bikes. So there will still be thousands of quad bikes in use without OPDs. For those who already own a quad bike, the VFF has negotiated an extension of the successful Quad Bike Safety Rebate Scheme to June 2020.

“Quad bike owners can improve their safety quickly and easily by applying for a $1,200 Quad Bike Safety Rebate today. This rebate can cover the cost of up to two OPDs or it can go towards the purchase of a safer side-by-side farm vehicle,” said Mr Jochinke.

Farmers wishing to apply for the rebate should call the VFF on (03) 9207 5517 or visit https://www.vff.org.au/quadbike before the rebate scheme closes on 30 June 2020.

“While these new standards are a welcome improvement, they won’t address all of the safety issues associated with quad bikes. Of the nine quad bike deaths this year, three of them have been children aged ten, seven and three. There are also hundreds of children each year who suffer life-altering injuries inflicted by quad bike accidents.

“This is entirely unacceptable. If you own a quad bike, please never allow a child to ride or be a passenger on it. The cost is too high to take the risk,” said Mr Jochinke.

Media Contacts:
David Jochinke, VFF President, 0427 834 524
Heather Smillie, VFF Stakeholder, Media & Communications Officer, 0400 874 589

About the VFF
The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is dedicated to representing the interests of farmers and making a positive difference to their businesses and communities. We strive to create an environment for our members, our farmers, that enables profitable, safe, sustainable production to ensure an enduring social licence in a community that respects and values the sector.