VICTORIAN farmers have reminded they have only six weeks to apply for a $1200 rebate under the Quad Bike Safety Rebate Scheme.
The federation today implored farmers to use extreme care when using quad bikes, install an operator protection device (OPD) and consider alternative, safer farm vehicles.
VFF president David Jochinke said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found that quad bikes cause an average of six emergency department visits per day in Australia.
“That is an absolutely shocking statistic.
“Deaths from quad bike accidents make the news, but what we don’t know about is the huge number of people, many children, being rushed to hospital every day as a result of quad bike related injuries,” he said.
“Dr Warwick Teague, a trauma surgeon at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, has spoken out publicly about the awful, life-altering injuries from quad bike accidents that he sees far too often.
“Dr Teague has to care for children who have crush injuries to the head and chest, spinal injuries, leg and pelvic fractures, and abdominal organ injuries,” Mr Jochinke said.
“What’s more, the number of children with quad bike injuries appears to be rising consistently each year.
“I am appealing to all farmers to review their quad bike use,” he said.
“Please only allow adults with helmets and proper training to use quad bikes installed with OPDs.
“Please never allow children to ride on or drive quad bikes,” Mr Jochinke said.
“If you’re ready to remove the risk of quad bike accidents entirely, you can transition to using a safer farm vehicle, such a side-by-side.
“There are only six weeks left for Victorian farmers to take advantage of the Quad Bike Safety Rebate Scheme,” he said.
“The $1200 rebate can be used to purchase up to two OPDs for your quad bikes, or an alternative farm vehicle.”
Farmers wishing to apply for the rebate should call the VFF on 1300 882 833 or visit https://www.vff.org.au/quadbike before the rebate scheme closes on 30 September 2019.
As an ag college student in the ’80s, when mandatory Roll Over Protection System (ROPS) frames were being retro-fitted to tractors, I remember reading in an OH&S safety journal, that there was a higher risk of an Australian farmer being killed in a tractor roll-over than of an Australian soldier being killed in the Vietnam war. Safety frames on quad bikes is a no-brainer — legislate to make them compulsory everywhere please.