THE National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has called for government action on quad bike safety to coincide with National Farm Safety Week.
NFF president Jock Laurie said solutions such as roll-over protection or crush protection devices were needed to address the increasing number of fatalities from quad bike accidents on Australian farms.
The number of fatalities this year was brought to 10 last week, when a 13-year-old girl was killed near Wollongong, NSW.
“The safety of our farming families and farm workers is of upmost concern, which is why the NFF and our members are now calling for a focus on practical solutions to help address quad safety concerns,” Mr Laurie said.
“The Government has recognised this need; just last week it convened a meeting of government, industry, unions, community groups and farming organisations, including the NFF, to improve quad bike safety. Minister Shorten announced on Friday a new initiative, QuadWatch, to help provide information and strengthen community networks around quad bike safety issues.
“The NFF supports this initiative, but we also believe more needs to be done to ensure the safety of our farming families and farm workers, which is why we’re calling for a focus on solutions like roll-over protection or crush protection devices.
“Research is in the pipeline on crush protection devices – and if this research shows that they decrease fatalities and injuries, then we will very strongly support them,” Mr Laurie said.
National Farm Safety Week, an initiative of FarmSafe Australia and its members, including the NFF, runs until this Friday 20 July. National Farm Safety Week aims to raise awareness of farm safety issues and help reduce the risk of injury and illness. For more information, visit www.farmsafe.org.au.