An additional $3.7 million has been made available through the NSW Quad Bike Safety Rebate and Training Program that will allow farmers to fit roll bars on quad bikes and also purchase drones to view inaccessible areas on farms.
NSW Better Regulation and Innovation Minister Kevin Anderson revealed funding will be extended until 2023 and that the $2000 rebates are available for "operator protective devices (roll bars), helmets, drones, upgrades to safer side-by-side vehicles, and free quad bike and side-by-side vehicle training was on offer".
Since the program started almost 1000 roll bars have been installed, over 750 helmets purchased, and over 100 drones acquired.
The rebate program will also allow any number of rebate applications to claim up to $2000 per ABN, whereas previously only two applications could be made to access these rebate funds, the Government announced.
The decision to enforce roll bars has caused major ructions in the Australian quad bike market. In April, Honda announced it was quitting the quad bike market and concentrating on four-by-fours after the Federal Government made rollover protection devices compulsory from October 11.
Honda was among several overseas manufacturers who refused to meet the mandatory requirement to fit protection devices.
Meantime, Mr Anderson announced the rebate safety funding will be extended until 2023.
"The NSW Government is creating a safer and stronger regional NSW and thanks to the Quad Bike Safety Rebate and Training Program, over 1,000 roll bars have been installed, over 750 helmets purchased, and over 100 drones acquired," Mr Anderson said.
"Nothing is more important than protecting our farmers while they are at work, which is why we have allocated this additional funding for farmers to buy and upgrade equipment to keep them safe."
Mr Anderson also announced changes to the program which will allow small working farms and rural businesses to take advantage of the $2,000 safety rebate and free training program.
"We've made important changes that will make a big difference to smaller farms and businesses using these vehicles, such as rural real estate agencies and contract pest control services who can now access the rebate and training," Mr Anderson said.
"The changes allow any number of rebate applications to claim up to $2,000 per ABN, whereas previously only two applications could be made to access these rebate funds."
The NSW Government release said: "Quad bikes are high-risk vehicles and are not safe for use in all terrains or for all tasks".
"Over 280 people have been killed on quad bikes in Australia in the last 20 years. It is crucial that farmers and farm workers embrace the upcoming Australia-wide changes to improve the safety of quad bikes and that we as a Government communicate this message effectively," Mr Anderson said.
"As of October 2021 all new and second-hand imported quad bikes sold in Australia will have roll bars designed or pre-fitted at the point of sale, but farmers can have them fitted right now to their existing bikes without waiting."
For more information on rebates and free training from SafeWork NSW, and to check your eligibility, visit https://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/advice-and-resources/rebate-programs.
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