The National Farmers’ Federation has welcomed the Senate’s support for Greens Agriculture spokesperson Janet Rice’s motion to implore the Government to act now on quad bike safety.
“It speaks volumes that the Senate came together to emphatically pass a motion to call on the Government to mandate operator protection devices (OPDs) on all new quad bikes within two years, as recommended by the ACCC,” NFF President Fiona Simson said.
“It’s disappointing to say the least that the Liberal-National Government continues to turn their back on farmers on this issue.
“We again ask the question, how many lives need to be lost and how many life-altering injuries do farmers need to endure before the Government sees merit in this simple, but life-saving change?”
Statistics show since 2001, more than 230 Australians have been killed in quad bike incidents. So far this year, eight lives have been lost.
The NFF’s support for the ACCC’s recommendation is shared by regional Australia’s most powerful voices including the Rural Doctors Association of Australia, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the National Rural Health Alliance, the National Rural Women’s Coalition, the Country Women’s Association of Australia, and the Australian Workers Union.
Representatives of these organisations, joined NFF at a demonstration on the lawns of Parliament House last week to share the personal stories of those affected by quad bike rollovers.
The demonstration also aimed to better inform Members and Senators of how OPDs work and to dismiss the myths being peddled by those with a vested interest in seeing the change frustrated. Myths as far-fetched as working dogs can’t jump on rollover-fitted quad bikes.
“We had high hopes, that this would be the week that the Liberal-National Government acted with compassion and common sense on this issue,” Ms. Simson said.
“We say to the Minister responsible, Assistant Treasurer Minister Sukkar please, in the interests of the lives of our farmers, act today and make the declaration needed to make this life-saving change a reality.”